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A pilot issue should be resolved
Material posted: Gornova Anna M.Publication date: 31-07-2020

Pilot support in Russia – discussion of legislative initiatives

In connection with the direction of bill No. 889303-7 "On amendments to the rules of the Russian Federation", involving the creation of a state pilotage service in accordance with the procedure in all instances for providing feedback and suggestions, began an active discussion of the document. In the discussion around current and future device Pilot service edition provides the parties the opportunity to comment on the pages of Newspapers my point of view the meaning and essence of the document to discuss the proposals of the parties to give the expert assessment.

What is the meaning of the bill, what is its purpose, what hand, what is the position of the Supervisory authorities, whether in the country of a real market for pilotage services and whether there is opposition to the idea of creating a state pilotage service, the newspaper was told by a member of the Federation Council Viktor Pavlenko.

I interviewed Anna Gornova, coordinator of the project "Marine policy" Center for strategic assessments and forecasts

– What arguments lead the discussion in defense of their positions, how they are justified from the point of view of the development of a pilot service, to ensure the safety of navigation?

The opposition we see that the persons interested either in obtaining a pilotage directly to your income, or increase commercial effectiveness of the enterprise. The position of these commercial beneficiaries supports the Federal Antimonopoly service. FAS for years is the enemy of creating a unified state pilotage service, his arguments in favor of preserving private pilotage companies. The essence of these arguments is the need of market competition, pilotage services, which allegedly reduces the risk of corruption and positively affects the capacity of sea ports.

Let me remind you that in the 90-ies of the last century saw a privatisation of the greater part of port property and in the ports there were private operators of sea terminals. The reaction of those private operators of the port business on bill No. 889303-7 aimed at creating a state pilotage service is different. In small ports, which the majority and where there are state pilots, terminal operators support the creation of a unified state pilotage service, because the benefits of creating an unbiased assessment of the obvious.

In major ports, oil terminal and coal terminal operators have established their affiliated companies or pilotage pilotage units in its structure (units) in order to be able for commercial purposes to influence the decisions of the pilot in the boundary conditions of security. And it is clear that they, along with other owners of private pilotage companies as a United front, although for different reasons, opposed the project of the Federal law No. 889303-7 creating a state pilotage service. Of the biggest port operators had no objection to this bill, although it offers to Supplement only of PJSC "NCSP", I think, because it does not contain a pilot unit.


– The major stevedoring companies advocating for market relations in the pilot case, substantiate the fact that "pilots of private companies are often more flexible approach to issues such as waiting to start a transaction or mooring operations." The feedback on the bill stevedores expressed fears that the reluctance of pilots of the state pilotage service to implement the wiring for invalid reasons will result in downtime of a production and transshipment complexes. Can there be such unreasonable reasons?

– "Unreasonable", of course, according to opponents of the bill. This is the situation when the decision of the pilot sometimes, contrary to the requirements and conditions of safety pilotage, determined by the commercial interests of his employer. And this is why market relations in the provision of a pilot flatly rejected by international practice. State regulation of Maritime safety is an axiom for all countries. In this case, to go the vessel or to stand, if the risk is higher allowable, determines the pilot as a representative of the state, not the owner of the private company, which employee is a pilot, receiving a profit.

– Whether there are today in Russia a real market for pilotage services?

– As such, the real market pilot services there, Yes it and cannot be. Look at the practice – all the leading Maritime countries withdrew from the market relations in the sphere of the pilot provision, and competition in one port several pilot organizations recognized by experts worldwide unwanted harmful factor for the safety of navigation. In Russia from 67 sea ports are about a dozen where the pilot organizations operate in a competitive environment. In the rest of both worked, and are working in the regime of natural monopoly, no market economy there. In this state pilots exclusively work only in the unprofitable ports, and profitable as a monopoly working only private pilotage companies affiliated with major port operators, or they themselves created. By the way, almost all private companies and pilot units of terminal operators are former pilots of the organizations, which at the time drove themselves these operators, using their administrative capacity.

Here's a market competition and a pilot market economy, the need to assert the Federal antitrust agencies. And do it with enviable persistence, contrary to the practice of leading Maritime countries of the world. Instead, FAS should carry out state supervision over activities of natural monopolies of pilot organizations. And if FAS is the only Supervisory authority that can and must test the reasonableness of expenses in a pilot organisations fulfil their responsibilities and to really have them checked, the majority of private pilotage companies would have been a different picture.

– Among the opponents of the bill are those who believe today that the current model contains less risk of corruption than the public service?

– Corruption risks are greatest where the coming together of two factors: the uncertainty of legal regulation of a process, and the dependence of a choice of the human factor. This is what is now inherent in the current system of pilotage services in the ports of Russia. Selection of pilot organizations in the port generally depends on the agents, not of the shipowner. And in ports where there is competition, the agents are precisely large vessels, as a rule, make it in favor of private pilotage companies. It is obvious that the establishment of the state pilotage service of Russia completely eliminates even the possibility of corruption risks. And then we have digitalization is in full swing, all payments and orders within the framework of a unified civil service will be transparent and automatic.,

– Would not the exclusive roles for pilotage of vessels in one organization to the increase in rates of pilotage?

– Of course not. The state, having priority to the market economy, will completely control the service. Otherwise, you will need to recognize an absurd thing for a market state penny increase in pilotage is somehow more important than revenues from billions of dollars of revolutions of the port business, the security of which is pilotage. I already talked about the fact that these pseudoconcavity conditions of pilot organizations is only in the top ten ports and other theses about any impact on their market irrelevant.

– Briefly, what is the main purpose of the bill?

– The purpose of the bill is the elimination in the national security interests of the distortions, generated in the 90-ies as a result of reform of Maritime law.

The bill is not the result of competition and not aimed at its elimination in anyone's favor. Its essence consists in the avoidance of market relations in a pilot and the establishment of a unified state pilotage service of Russia, which will include all active pilots, including those working within the divisions of the FSUE "Rosmorport".

– It turns out that you do not see the benefits of market mechanisms, their progressiveness in the regulation of pilotage services?

– No, I do not see. What kind of progressivity and efficiency of private pilotage companies can say, if a significant part of the pilotage through affiliated companies removed from the scope of the pilot service. If port operators are investing some funds in their units, such as port fleet used in the provision of services pilotage service, it does not mean that they improve it a pilot activity. They just invest money in improving the yield of one of the divisions of the company.

And the goal and objectives of improving a pilot provide quite different. Investing in a special pilot boats primarily involves the safety of pilots and the possibility of pilot operations in difficult weather conditions. It is provided in the composition of the pilotage, but lowers the profitability of traders.

Often the operators of the port business explain the absence of the need to make any changes to the rules of the fact that the Supervisory and control function of public authorities is enshrined in Federal laws and regulatory acts of the Russian Federation: KTM of the Russian Federation State standard of Russia (GOST R 51874-2002), Position about sea pilots of the Russian Federation, the Statute on the regime of work and rest of the pilot, the professional standard "the Pilot", and that is enough. Your position?

– It is wickedness. All these legal acts reglamentary only the activities of the pilot and did not regulate the activities of pilotage organizations, which are a necessary component in pilotage. And it suggests that a pilot activity in the country not controlled by the state.

Opponents of the bill believe that the establishment of the state pilot service "will lead to the termination of activities of non-state pilotage organizations and, therefore, will entail restriction of the rights and freedoms stipulated by articles 34 and 55 of the Constitution, as noted in the decision of the constitutional court of the Russian Federation of 6 April 2004 No. 7-P. What do you say to this argument opponents?".

– Interpretation in this context the decision of the constitutional court of the Russian Federation No. 7-P does not correspond to its essence. This decision, of course, refers to the article of the Constitution, but it's not the market or non-market relations in a pilot sector. Its essence consists in the inappropriate recognition of the Constitution of the uncertainty of the legal norm of part 2 of article 87 of the Russian KTM and delegating to the Government the authority to restrict a pilot activity in individual ports, not more. Bill No. 8893303-7 not contradict the Constitution, because in accordance with international treaties, it is the state Russia ensures the safety of navigation in its territorial waters, is responsible for the organization of pilotage in the most effective way in all ports of the country, including "unprofitable", before the international Maritime community and has a peremptory right to regulate them in a pilot activity.

In conclusion, I want to remind you that we do not live in the 90s. the World has changed and he carries us global threats, which are becoming every year more difficult. Confront it can only be a strong competitive system in which the functionality of the state and business is clearly defined and separated.



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