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Results and prospects
Material posted: Gornova Anna M.Publication date: 28-05-2019
Intensive development of ports and waterways, including the Northern sea route requires a conversion system of the pilot provision of merchant shipping in accordance with the strategic prospect of development of Maritime activities of the Russian Federation. Maritime security as a global value is the responsibility of the state, outside the sphere of venture enterprise, governed by the laws of the market.

Legislative gaps

Along with VTS and AIS pilot sector harmoniously integrated into the system of national security of any country. Ensuring Maritime safety is a national priority marine camp. However, to date, two key issues of the pilot sector is still not regulated in Russian legislation. First, the job of a pilot is impossible outside pilotage organizations, in respect of which any of the requirements of the national standard, and whose activity in Russia is not licensed. Secondly, in the areas of compulsory pilotage, the law stipulates the obligation of the vessel to take a pilot, but not the obligation a pilot organization to provide a pilot. The reasons for such substantial gaps in the regulatory framework are rooted in the history of the pilotage question in post-Soviet Russia.

In the 90s – early 2000s all non-state pilotage organizations in Russia was established by the pilot (Self Employеd Pilot) and worked on non-profit principles. At the time of the judgment of the constitutional court of the Russian Federation in 2004, a pilot activity was carried out by state and non-governmental organizations that belonged to the pilots. Private pilot companies were not. The solution of KS of the Russian Federation from 06.04.2004 № 7-P was not performed, the activities of non-state pilotage organizations legislative were not resolved, and since 2005 in the most profitable ports instead of non-profit organizations began to appear private pilotage companies operating on a commercial basis. In the 15 years that do not comply with the decisions of the COP, from the sphere of Maritime safety has flowed a significant part of the pilotage. The state, represented by the FSUE "Rosmorport" annually incurs losses, about the value of the pilotage seized by privateers from pilot turnover, and that hundreds of millions of rubles. A pilot sector does not develop in the pockets of businessmen, not pilots every year, irretrievably lost 3-6 new pilot boats, which are lacking in ports. Pilots forced to take on those craft that are able to rent, which sometimes leads to their death, injury and emergency incidents.

Who benefits from this situation?

Only in Russia there are about 900 marine pilots. More than 65% (about 600 pilots) is the pilotage service of the FSUE "Rosmorport" in the seaports 52. About 30% (about 250 pilots) private pilot organizations in 15 highly profitable ports and oil terminals (no more than 1/3 of all pilotage services). About 5% of pilots of the FSUE "Hydrographic enterprise" and the state unitary enterprise "Crimean sea ports". To grab a profitable piece of the pilot pie, almost all private companies have their own fleet and operate in rented boats, sometimes overestimating the cost transactions 2-7 times. The state budget incurs losses, the pilots do not have modern boats, but the Russians that does any good. Such situation is beneficial only to a few owners of private pilotage companies – 20-30 people in the country. Misuse pilotage is increasing. After the summer of 2017 FAS deregulated pilotage rates, the share of output pilotage pilotage in the pockets of the "rentier" increases. In 2010-2014, when the turnover of Russian seaports amounted to 500-600 million tonnes, the value of pilotage was estimated at 2,4-2,5 billion roubles. For 2018 the cargo turnover amounted to 816,46 million tons. Due to the growth of the turnover of the total amount of pilotage is already of the order of 3.2-4 billion rubles.

What's the competition?

There is a fair question – where is the market and what is the competition? It turns out that market is called the struggle for lucrative segment of pilotage services to bypass the basic purposes of the pilot provision. A competitive advantage is determined by the instructions, and, probably, "kickbacks" agents of pilotage for obtaining profitable orders. The existing system, formed in the early 2000s, at least out of date and in need of radical transformation. Legal uncertainty creates a high level of corruptibility and the lack of positive incentives for the development of professionalism among pilots. It should be recalled that the conclusion of the head of international law Department, St. Petersburg state University, Professor, doctor of legal Sciences, captain Victor Sidorchenko: "Competition among pilot organizations is unacceptable," – repeatedly confirmed by other experts.

Legal conflict

In the end, the principle of safety of navigation came into conflict with the principle of profit. Pilotage service of the FSUE "Rosmorport" guided by KTM. Purpose lipovtsy – non-commercial. Private pilotage companies work on GK. The purpose of a commercial company is profit. The entrepreneurs work in the lucrative ports, the current situation is beneficial to them, and they are struggling to prolong it to the max, trying to get a pilot activity in the legal field of the free commercial market, which is unacceptable. As a result, the debate about how to effectively organize the activities of 900 sea pilots in the country, conducted almost 20 years! This ratio is an indicator of the "efficiency" of legislative work in a pilot area. Surprised by the desire of some public officials to continue this discussion further, sitting at the taxpayers ' expense. Expert work on elaboration of the decision was carried many years in the working group of the Ministry of transport, but for some understandable reasons today was not a success. The bill, reflecting the position of the state, came across the resistance of the traders and two market departments – FAS and Ministry of economic development, and no solution in the end and not followed.

International practice

In IMO resolutions and recommendations of the International pilots Association (IMPA) in respect of pilotage stressed the absolute priority of the safety of navigation and environmental protection. In almost all Maritime countries pilotage is carried out exclusively either the state pilotage service or this right is delegated to the organizations working on non-profit principles under the system of Self Employеd Pilot. The coastal state has gone from experimenting with market relations in a pilot activity and not allow the introduction of market competition in the sphere of Maritime safety. Only one of the smaller EU countries, Denmark, 2006 at the legislative level have introduced competition in pilotage, but there is complete freedom of the market in a pilot sector no. In countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Portugal, China, Brazil, and many other pilotage service of the state. Nowhere in the world there are no private pilotage services for profit. Pilotage dues are spent exclusively to cover costs in providing pilotage. The inclusion of the profit of individuals in pilotage rates is contrary to the basic generally accepted principles of calculation of these rates.

Obvious risks

Big oil, stevedoring and other companies will be able to create a pilot unit that will work exclusively in the commercial interests of their owners. In this case, the regulations of safety of navigation will inevitably go by the wayside, resulting in an increase in the number of emergency incidents. Especially dangerous is the environmentally sensitive waters of the Northern sea route under the scrutiny of the international community, which is expected to increase the intensity of large-tonnage shipping, including dangerous goods. In the field of the pilot providing shipowners will have to negotiate about rates, not with the state, and who is the targeted use of pilotage derive part of his income. In the long term is to increase tariffs, increasing the cost of transportation, reduced quality of services and lack of interest in the development of new pilot competencies, including requiring additional licenses, and reducing the size of salaries of the pilots. As a result, the loss of the state control of key sectors of navigation safety. The results of the 20-year-old attempts to create an artificial market on a pilot Assembly is obvious and disappointing.

To remedy the situation, the legislator with the adoption of the law in the form of amendments to the rules of the Russian Federation on the establishment of a unified state pilotage service. The law will take a pilot sector for self-sufficiency, will eliminate a pilot in the loopholes of the translation of such categories as safety of navigation, in the private sector, in the category of risky commercial activities with a view to profit, will allow you to return a pilot activity on the principles accepted everywhere in the world, withdraw it from the category of a free market. Emphasize that the law comprehensively addresses all the current gaps in regulatory support pilot activities at the present stage. In this is its main advantage, since all other proposed solutions are intermediate half-measures, the implementation of which requires a huge amount of legal acts.

Social partnership between the government and pilots

To date, analyzed the work of the expert group and conversion of the pilot sector proposed in the organizational-legal forms of Federal Autonomous institutions, which will ensure the effective operation of about 900 sea pilots in all the ports 67, the intended use and transparent administration of pilotage. The increase in tariffs, despite existing distortions, is not required, the amount of pilotage subject profitable enough ports to accommodate all divisions of the FAA, including ensuring modeately and Arctic ports. National pilot service will be able to lead the development of advanced technologies, to maintain and build a dedicated fleet, including ice-class, to have the balance of a modern national centre for training and qualification of pilots, including pilots of the open sea (ice pilots), which are increasingly popular and especially in the Arctic on the Northern sea route.

The creation of the FAA allows a pilot to bring the sector on self-sufficiency, to calculate real rates of pilotage at each port, balancing of profitable and unprofitable; it will form an effective rate for each port based on the interests of the state, pilots and consumers of pilot services. In Russia, a pilot fee is about 5-10% of the cost of loading and in ports of the European Union, respectively, 20% and more. While in the ports of Asia Pacific ports in General less, and a pilot is at the level of Russian units. The government is interested to tariffs and, as a result, the cost of loading was not higher, and even slightly below the ports of neighboring countries. The state's interest is national security, safety of navigation and stability in tariffs. The interest of insurance companies as a pilot of services leading to the reduction of accidents of ships. For shipowners important quality and stability of the pilot provision. For all Russians important ecology and the tariffs which affect the cost of goods did not increase.

Immersion of navigation in the cyberspace carries as new threats and explicit advantages of the pilot, which would give the state more flexibility in protecting national security. Such aspects will require pilots certified equipment clear regulation of activity of divisions of the FAA, determining the relevant layers of protection and personnel access to information.

In the prepared bill takes into account the geographical features of the country, prospects for its marine activities and economic strategies. We are talking about the great Russia, the Arctic, the Far East, the Crimea, the Caspian sea and a variety of climate zones, which does not compare with a country of the European Union. Support for the bill expressed the Russian trade Union of seamen. With the adoption of this law Russia will have modern self-contained pilot service at the level of advanced countries of the world, which is the main purpose and result of change.


  • this non-profit character of the goals of the pilot and ensure targeted pilotage;
  • the effective rate for each port (subject to the availability of highly profitable and modeately ports) can be formed only within the framework of a unified state pilotage organizations;
  • the creation of the FAA will be automatically implemented international commitments of the state on a stable pilot quality assurance in all sea ports of the country.

In conclusion, in countries with long tradition of market economy which are carefully take care of their economic growth, are very clearly separated – which is regulated by the market and the state. The mixture of these two categories does nothing but drop in the quality and growth of corruption, as the market is not all and not always leads to positive results. In this case, we see a vivid example of negative consequences of the erosion of the market principles of the organization of the pilot provision. Artificially created market will not lead to anything but a drop in the quality, constant disputes, and further increase the risk of accidents. Self-sufficient pilot service – a great opportunity to emphasize the Russian flag in the realities of the global world, as well as to implement a social partnership between the government and pilots. The case for small – to amend the rules of the Russian Federation to create a unified state pilotage service.

According to the materials of the report at the IV all-Russian forum of port "port Infrastructure: construction, reconstruction, modernization" on April 2, 2019

Anna Gornova


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