Service terms for pilotage

Finnpilot Service Terms for Pilotage 1.1.2021 pdf >>

SERVICE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR PILOTAGE

The general terms and conditions of pilotage services by Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd for vessel traffic operators as of 1 January 2021

1 PREFACE

Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd (hereinafter Finnpilot) provides its clients with pilotage services in all Finnish waterways that require pilotage. The provision of pilotage services is based on the Pilotage Act which lays down provisions on the obligation to use a pilot, the duties and responsibilities of pilots and the rights and responsibilities of the pilotage company.

2 APPLICATION AND VALIDITY OF THE SERVICE TERMS AND CONDITIONS

These service terms and conditions are applicable to pilotage services provided by Finnpilot to ships operating in public fairways defined as compulsory pilotage areas by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom (hereinafter Traficom). The valid regulation on compulsory pilotage areas and pilot boarding areas is available on Traficom’s website.

The valid service terms and conditions are published on Finnpilot’s website. These service terms and conditions shall enter into force as of 1st of January 2021. Finnpilot reserves the right to make changes to these service terms and conditions by announcing it on its website no later than one month prior to the changes entering into force.

3 APPLICABLE LAW

The interpretation of these service terms and conditions is governed by the currently valid Finnish laws.

4 PILOTAGE SERVICE AVAILABILITY

4.1 Service level

Pilotage services are provided 24 hours a day on every day of the year. The level of the service is measured by the waiting time for the pilot service. In the coastal waters the waiting time is max three (3) hours and in the Saimaa waterways six (6) hours.

Finnpilot provides pilot services for all vessels requiring pilotage. Pilotage resources are proportioned to correspond with regular traffic.

Shipmasters sailing with an exemption from compulsory pilotage or a pilot exemption certificate are provided with pilotage services if necessary, but if there is a delay in the availability of the service, fee reductions in accordance with section 4.2.4. will not be awarded. A shipmaster sailing with exemption from compulsory pilotage or a pilot exemption certificate shall make a pilotage request in accordance with the service terms and conditions as stated in sections 4.2.1.—4.2.2.

Finnpilot has divided its pilot order management geographically into three pilotage zones: Southern, Eastern and Western pilotage zones. More detailed information about the pilotage zones and contact information for pilot orders is available on Finnpilot’s website.

All matters relating to the pilotage services and requests are automatically stored in Finnpilot’s electronic customer service system. All calls concerning pilotage requests are recorded.

4.1.1 Conformance to requirements and safety of piloted vessels

Pilotage service availability during the validity of the assistance restrictions

The characteristics of vessels, such as loads on structures and machinery in ice conditions, and the capability of vessels to navigate in ice, are important for the safety of winter navigation. The ice class regulations issued by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom aim to ensure that vessels in the Baltic Sea have sufficient capability to navigate in ice to maintain safe and efficient navigation year around to Finnish ports. More detailed instructions on the availability of pilotage services during the validity of the assistance restrictions are given in Appendix 1.

Compliance to recommendation on pilot transfer arrangements

Embarkation and disembarkation of pilots is safe only when the pilot transfer arrangements comply with the international regulations. The pilot shall not board a vessel with unsafe pilot embarkation arrangements or disembark a vessel with unsafe pilot disembarkation arrangements. More detailed information about situations in which the pilot transfer arrangements do not comply with the requirements is provided in Appendix 2.

Use of floodlights in the Saimaa region

More information on the use and availability of floodlights on vessels navigating the Saimaa channel and the Lake Saimaa region is given in Appendix 3.

Smoking on the bridge of a piloted vessel

According to Finnish law, smoking is prohibited in the indoor areas of buildings, vehicles or similar places that are accessible to the public or employees or accessible to customers for the purpose of providing commercial or public services. Finnish law does not apply to vessels sailing under a foreign flag, but Finnpilot recommends that Finnpilot personnel not be exposed to tobacco smoke while working on a vessel.

4.1.2 Under keel clearance (UKC) in the Port of HaminaKotka and the 14.0-metre fairway in Kokkola

Due to Traficom’s waterway decision concerning the Port of HaminaKotka, the navigation lines of fairways in some areas of the Port of HaminaKotka and draught markings in the harbour have been removed. In addition, the Port has removed the internal instructions concerning the maximum allowed draught in quay areas. Finnpilot has issued detailed guidelines concerning the evaluation of safe draught for piloted vessels in the Port of HaminaKotka and the submission of related information to the Pilot Order Centre in Appendix 4.

Detailed guidelines concerning Traficom’s channel depth practice during pilotage in the 14.0-metre fairway in Kokkola and the submission of related information to the Pilot Order Centre are given in Appendix 5.

4.2 Provision of advance information and submission of pilot orders

4.2.1 Vessels arriving at Finnish ports

Advance notice

The ship or it’s agent shall provide the Pilot Order Centre with advance notice 24 and 12 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival at the pilot boarding position. It is recommended that the vessel’s estimated time of departure from the port at the same time is also provided.

Ship agents provide the Pilot Dispatch Centre with weekly lists of vessels arriving at ports and update changes to the information given in the advance notices. If there is a change of more than one hour in the arrival time given in the advance notice, the Pilot Dispatch Centre must be informed of the change without delay.

Advance notices and changes to the information given therein can be provided via Pilot Online or by e-mail, fax or telephone.

  • Name of vessel
  • Port of destination
  • Berth (if known)
  • ETA pilot boarding position
  • ETD from port (if estimated time of departure is known)
  • Technical deficiencies affecting pilotage
  • Draught (on arrival) *)
  • Air draught **)

*) If the vessel is arriving at the Port of HaminaKotka or Kokkola and exceeds the draught(limits) mentioned in Appendices 4 and 5, it shall deliver the additional information specified in those Appendices 24 hours before arriving at the pilot boarding position.

**) If the vessel is en route to Joensuu, Puhos or Färjsundet in the Åland Islands

In case a vessel requests a pilot in a location other than an official pilot boarding position or port (e.g. anchorage), the ship or it’s agent shall inform the Pilot Dispatch Centre of the plan by e-mail one week in advance. Finnpilot reserves the right to either reject or accept the plan. If the plan is implemented, the client shall provide safe transportation of the pilot to and from the vessel at its own expense.

Pilot order

The ship or it’s agent shall submit a binding pilotage order to the Pilot Dispatch Centre via Pilot Online or by e-mail, fax or telephone three (3) hours before the vessel arrives at the pilot boarding position.

  • Name of vessel
  • Port of destination
  • Berth
  • ETA pilot boarding position
  • ETD from port (if estimated time of departure is known)
  • Technical deficiencies affecting pilotage
  • Draught (on arrival)
  • Air draught *)

*) Provided if the vessel is en route to Joensuu, Puhos or Färjsundet in the Åland Islands

When necessary, the pilot may contact the vessel by VHF radio when the vessel is less than one hour away.

4.2.2 Vessels departing from Finnish ports

Advance notice

The ship or it’s agent shall provide the Pilot Dispatch Centre with advance notice 12 and 6 hours prior to the vessel’s departure from the port. If it is not possible to provide notices during the night, they shall be provided in the evening and updated first thing in the morning. If there is a change of more than one hour in the departure time given in the advance notice, the Pilot Order Centre must be informed of the change without delay. The information can be provided via Pilot Online or by e-mail, fax or telephone.

  • Name of vessel
  • Port of departure
  • End point of pilotage (for example, pilot boarding position, open sea, anchorage)
  • Berth
  • Estimated time of departure (ETD) from the port
  • Technical deficiencies affecting pilotage
  • Departure draught *)
  • Air draught **)

*) If the vessel is departing from the Port of HaminaKotka or Kokkola and exceeds the draughts mentioned in Appendices 4 and 5, it shall deliver the additional information specified in those Appendices 12 hours before departure from the port.

**) Provided if the vessel is departing from Joensuu, Puhos or Färjsundet in the Åland Islands.

Pilot order

The ship or it’s agent shall submit a binding pilotage order to the Pilot Dispatch Centre via Pilot Online or by e-mail, fax or telephone two (2) hours before the vessel is due to depart from the port. As exceptions to this, vessels departing from the Port of Kilpilahti (Sköldvik) shall submit the pilotage request three (3) hours and vessels departing from the ports of Hanko, Koverhar, Skogby and Lappohja one (1) hour before departure.

The Pilot Dispatch Centre sends a confirmation of the request using the same communication method through which the advance notice was provided or the binding pilotage request was made. Orders by telephone are not confirmed separately after the call.

  • Name of vessel
  • Port of departure
  • End point of pilotage (for example, pilot boarding position, open sea, anchorage)
  • Berth
  • Time of departure
  • Technical deficiencies affecting pilotage
  • Departure draught
  • Air draught *)

*) If the vessel is en route to Joensuu, Puhos or Färjsundet in the Åland Islands

4.2.3 Consequences for failure to submit information

The functioning and flexibility of the pilotage services are based on adequate advance information about future pilotage needs concerning specific areas and stations. On the basis of the advance information, Finnpilot assigns its personnel to different pilotage commissions made through the Pilot Dispatch Centre. If the client fails to provide the information specified in these service terms and conditions (sections 4.2.1.—4.2.2.), in the manner required or in accordance with the specified timetables, Finnpilot will not necessarily be able to provide that client with the requested pilotage service within the desired timeframe. In such cases, the client is not entitled to pilotage fee reductions due to delays.

4.2.4 Pilotage fee reductions

The pilotage service client is responsible for ensuring that all advance information, as specified in sections 4.2.1. and 4.2.2., and request timetables are strictly followed.

If the pilotage service cannot be delivered even though the advance notice was provided and the order made appropriately, the client is entitled to pilotage fee reductions. The pilotage fee reduction is based on the duration of the delay in the pilotage service as follows:

In coastal areas

  • a wait of more than three but less than six hours from the vessel’s arrival/departure, as notified by the client, shall entitle the client to a fee reduction of 8 per cent of the standard pilotage fee.
  • a wait of more than six hours from the vessel’s arrival/departure, as notified by the client, shall entitle the client to a fee reduction of 16 per cent of the standard pilotage fee.

In the Saimaa region

  • a wait of more than six but less than nine hours from the vessel’s arrival/departure, as notified by the client, shall entitle the client to a fee reduction of 8 per cent of the standard pilotage fee.
  •  a wait of more than nine hours from the vessel’s arrival/departure, as notified by the client, shall entitle the client to a fee reduction of 16 per cent of the standard pilotage fee.

In chained pilotage assignments in the Saimaa region, the fee reduction is given for all pilotage assignments in the chain.

Example:

The vessel agent has complied with the deadlines for providing advance information (12 and 6 hours prior to vessel departure). The vessel is due to depart on Tuesday at 6 p.m., the 12 h advance notice has been given on Tuesday at 6 a.m. and the 6 h advance notice on Tuesday at 12 noon. The agent requests the pilot two hours before the vessel’s departure, that is, at 4 p.m. Despite all this, the pilot is not available to board the vessel until after 9 p.m. The client is, therefore, entitled to an 8 per cent pilotage fee reduction.

5 PILOTAGE FEES

In accordance with the Pilotage Act (940/2003, amendment 18.1.2019/51), the Board of Directors at Finnpilot shall determine the unit price, the reduced unit price and other possible commission fees. A fee based on a lower unit price is charged for pilotage in the Saimaa Canal and the Saimaa waterways. The pilotage fees collected in the Saimaa waterways are at a level of 26 per cent of the pilotage fees in the coastal waters.

The fee is based on the tonnage of the vessel in question and the actual distance to be piloted. The pilotage fees are valid until 31 December 2021. The pilotage fees are available on Finnpilot’s website.

5.1 Additional information to pilotage fees

Standby fee

If the pilot has arrived at the vessel or pilot boarding position as requested, but the pilotage does not get underway within an hour of the pilot’s arrival, the vessel shall be charged a standby fee until the pilotage begins or the pilot departs from the vessel or pilot boarding position. The standby fee in Finnish territorial waters is EUR 500 for each new hour beyond the initial hour. The standby fee in the Saimaa Canal and Saimaa waterways is EUR 250 for each new hour.

The standby fee for waiting aboard the vessel as per client request is EUR 250 for each new hour.

Fee for changing pilotage order

If the binding pilotage request is not cancelled but changed after the order has been placed, Finnpilot is entitled to charge the ordering party a fee of EUR 500 along the coastal areas. In the Saimaa Canal and Saimaa waterways the fee is EUR 250.

Cancellation fee

If the pilot is notified en route to the vessel, upon arriving at the vessel or during the standby period that the vessel will not employ a pilot, the vessel shall be charged a minimum standby fee of two hours. A minimum cancellation fee of EUR 1,000 will be charged within Finnish territorial waters and a minimum of EUR 500 in the Saimaa Canal and Saimaa waterways.

Increased basic fees

When the pilotage service is provided by two pilots, either according to section 10 of the Pilotage Act or by request, an increased fee of 50 per cent in addition to the basic rate shall be charged.

Pilotage fees for a vessel combination and stock flatboat/float

A pilotage fee will be charged for the combined tonnage of a tugboat or pusher, and the ship, vessel, barge or similar being towed or pushed, or for an integrated tug barge combination. The pilotage fee for a stock flatboat/float is also determined by tonnage, but the tonnage is understood to be half of the number of cubic metres.

6 FINNPILOT’S LIABILITY

By providing the information specified in these service terms and conditions, the client accepts Finnpilot’s service terms and conditions. Finnpilot’s liability in terms of pilotage is regulated separately by the Pilotage Act. According to the Act, the maximum amount of liability to compensate for damages caused by pilotage operations is no more than EUR 100,000 per event of loss. Liability for damages requires that the damage be caused intentionally or through gross negligence with the knowledge that such damage would likely be inflicted.

Finnpilot is not liable for any direct or indirect damages incurred by the provision of the pilotage services as specified in these terms and conditions.

7 FORCE MAJEURE

Finnpilot shall be released from any obligations and liabilities specified in these service terms and conditions, if a violation of or failure to fulfil the obligations is based on a force majeure. A force majeure is any unusual event which Finnpilot could not have anticipated in advance, which is beyond the control of Finnpilot, or the impact of which could not reasonably have been avoided or prevented. Such an event could be, for example, war, legal provisions or the regulations of authorities, natural catastrophes, weather or ice conditions, an interruption of general traffic, data communications or energy distribution, a breakdown of transport facilities related to pilotage services, labour disputes, fire or other unusual reason that has a similar impact and is beyond the control of Finnpilot.

8 SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES

Any disputes arising from the provision of the pilotage service as specified in these service terms and conditions shall be settled by the District Court of Helsinki.


APPENDIX 1: Amendment to the Service Terms, February 6, 2019

Ice class regulations ensure the safety and fluency of winter traffic

The characteristics of ships, such as loads on structures and machinery in ice conditions, and the ability of ships to carry ice, are important for the safety of winter navigation. The ice class regulations issued by Finnish Transport and Communications Agency aim to ensure that ships engaged in trade in the Northern Baltic Sea have sufficient capability in ice to maintain safe and efficient navigation year around to Finnish ports.

The Finnish Transport Agency has laid down instructions for winter navigation in Finland in collaboration with the industry, shipping companies, seafarers, icebreakers, pilots and the vessel traffic services. All parties are aware of their responsibility for the Finnish winter navigation and strive to engage modern vessels with sufficient propulsion power and good ice-going characteristics and which are manned by competent crews for their import and export shipments.

When the ice situation becomes more difficult, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency imposes assistance restrictions for the winter ports. For safety reasons and for reasons arising from concentrating the traffic in certain areas, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency may restrict the provision of icebreaker assistance in specific areas and to specific ports.

Pilotage during the validity of the assistance restrictions

Pursuant to Section 11 of the Pilotage Act, pilots have the right to refuse from pilotage or to suspend pilotage if he/she considers that the commencement or continuation of the voyage endangers the safety of the piloted ship, its occupants, other waterborne traffic or the environment. The pilot may, on the basis of the above-mentioned grounds, refuse to pilot the vessel, if the vessel does not have an ice classification in accordance with the assistance restrictions or does not fulfill them on the basis of, for example, its draught, or does not have an exemption granted by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.

In order to receive pilotage services, a vessel that is not eligible for icebreaking assistance must present a plan for safe passage through the ice to the pilotage company Finnpilot. This plan shall include a plan for the safe movement of the ship through the ice-covered area, taking into account the prevailing ice situation, the characteristics of the tug used for the assistance and its allowed operational area. When evaluating the plan, Finnpilot requires that the ship’s equipment necessary for the steering and energy production are fully operational when the pilotage starts, and that the hull, engine power, equipment and manning of the ship are such that safety is not jeopardized. Based on all of the above, Finnpilot evaluates the proposed plan and decides whether pilotage can be commenced in accordance with the Pilotage Act.

APPENDIX 2: Amendment to the Service Terms, August 10, 2018

Embarkation and disembarkation of pilots

To ensure safe embarkation and disembarkation of its pilots, Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd gives an amendment to the company Service terms and conditions. The purpose of this amendment is to provide the basic safety requirements for the pilots, pilot boats and the shipmasters to be followed. If the described safe practice in the boarding and landing of pilots by pilot boat is not followed, the pilotage service cannot be provided. However, these requirements on safe operating procedures can be adapted to suit particular locations or circumstances.

In adverse or difficult conditions where there is significant risk to personnel or the pilot boat, the pilot boat operator will make the eventual decision whether to place the pilot boat alongside the ship or to abort the transfer. If conditions during the pilot embarkation are such that they create any risk of injury the attempt shall be abandoned. If the pilot considers the embarkation unsafe for any reason, he or she will not embark the ship until the risk factors have ceased to exist.

If the pilot ladder rigged on the vessel appears to be or is, clearly damaged, unsafe or rigged incorrectly, the pilot shall request the ship to replace or re-rig the ladder; or if necessary, refuse to board or disembark the vessel until a safe means of embarkation/disembarkation is provided. The pilot shall report formally all cases of pilot ladder nonconformity according to the company procedure and the report is further submitted to the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Port State Control authority in Finland).

Ships have a duty to rig their pilot ladders in accordance with The International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulation / 23 and IMO resolution A 1045(27) as amended. A copy of the poster showing IMO requirements and IMPA recommendations – “Required Boarding Arrangements for PILOT” is included as an annex to this document.

Pilot transfer operations are not undertaken on ships that do not fully comply with transfer arrangements described above.

The Pilot shall not embark if there is nobody at the top of the ladder.

The ladder should be rigged and secured at the ship’s side or side door as near mid-ships as practical, and on the parallel body of the ship, clear of all overboard discharges. The ladder has to be located so that the pilot boat can lean against the parallel mid-body of the ship from the whole of its length. All steps of the ladder must rest firmly against the ship’s side. If a list is unavoidable, the ladder should be rigged on the side opposite to the list, whilst always taking into account the need to make a sufficient lee.

During winter months in conditions where icing occurs special caution must be taken to ensure that the pilot ladders are maintained free of ice and the deck area is not slippery.
Pilot operations are not undertaken with ships that do not comply with the require-ments described in this document. This amendment to Finnpilot Pilotage Service terms and conditions cannot prescribe the safe pilot transfer arrangements for every configuration or type of vessel construction. Hence, the safety of the pilot transfer in ships other than merchant ships e.g. naval ships and large yachts may be evaluated case-by-case.

APPENDIX 3: Saimaa Canal and Lake Saimaa – Requirements for Piloted Vessels

To ensure safe navigation in Saimaa Canal and lake Saimaa area vessels are required to be fitted with two (2) fully operational searchlights OR one (1) fully operational searchlight and light projectors that show simultaneously both sides of the Canal banks during the whole transit.

Vessels lighting arrangements are inspected by the pilot in locks Juustila and Mälkiä. Inspection is made by compar-ing the vessels lighting arrangements to shore based reflectors. If pilot decides that vessels lighting arrangements are inefficient then the vessel is piloted by daylight only.

Vessels are also reminded that according to Finnish Pilotage Act pilot has always the right to request a helmsman. Saimaa area pilots strongly recommend that vessels should be fitted with riverpilot option to steer the vessel.

APPENDIX 4: Amendment to the Service Terms 21.7.2020

 Finnpilot Pilotage Guidance for piloted vessels on the application of Under Keel Clearance (UKC) in Port of HaminaKotka (pdf) »

APPENDIX 5: Amendment to the Service Terms 11.11.2020

Finnpilot Pilotage Guidance for piloted vessels on the application of Under Keel Clearance (UKC) Kokkola (pdf) >>