New Pilotage Act requires advance information to be provided to the Pilot Dispatch Centre

With the new Pilotage Act that came into effect at the beginning of September, the requirement to provide advance information on pilotage orders has been included in the regulations issued by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom under the Act. Additionally, Finnpilot’s Terms of Service have been updated to align with the Act’s requirements. Finnpilot will begin monitoring compliance with the mandatory advance notifications and will report any shortcomings to the authorities starting on October 16, 2023.

Mandatory information to be provided to the Pilot Dispatch Centre

The mandatory information to be provided at the first advance notification (24 h in and 12 h out) is:

  • the Estimated Time of Arrival / Departure and information about the pilot boarding position or the port the ship is departing from,
  • actual draught when pilotage is commenced,
  • any technical deficiencies affecting pilotage and other factors affecting the safety of the pilotage process or the pilot.

The following information should be provided as soon as it is known (unless it was provided in the first advance):

  • changes to ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) / ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) times,
  • the initial ETD of the incoming vessel,
  • berth,
  • air draught, and
  • information about tugboat use.
Thank you to those who actively provided advance information!

Since the implementation of the Pilotage Act, our Pilot Dispatch Centre has actively reminded our customers about the importance of advance information. The required details are also included in the email signatures sent from the Dispatch Centre. We’ve observed an increasing number of advance notifications coming in daily, meeting the conditions specified in our Terms of Service. Notably, onboard ships, this change has been met very well, as the necessary information is being effectively incorporated into the arrival notifications. We’d also like to express our appreciation to all the ship brokers who have included the essential data fields in their ship lists. These fields enable the transmission of the required information as per our service conditions to the Pilot Dispatch Centre.

Incomplete advance notifications create planning challenges

Regrettably, there are still notable shortcomings in adhering to the notification requirement in some instances. When advance notifications are incomplete or absent, it becomes challenging to plan pilotage operations. This can result in additional transportation needs, impacting various aspects, including the scheduling of rest periods, pilot availability, and the overall cost of pilotage. Furthermore, this also has an impact on the operation of our other customers.

Delivering advance notifications to the Pilot Dispatch Centre on time reduces the extra work involved in requesting and processing the required advance information as mandated by law. This allows the Pilot Dispatch Centre to focus on efficient planning and ensuring that all vessels receive a pilot on time.

Reports to the authorities on shortcomings in advance notifications from Oct 16 onwards

Since the enactment of the Act, Finnpilot has been overseeing overall compliance with the Act and its associated regulations. A more comprehensive assessment of advance notifications will commence in mid-October.

The responsibility for providing this information rests with the customer, and we encourage our customers to play an active role in submitting advance notifications in a timely manner. By adhering to our Terms of Service concerning advance notifications, we can optimize our pilotage services and reduce any potential delays. Vessels that provide the required advance notifications on time will, in case of busy times, receive a pilot before those who haven’t followed our Terms of Service.

As the monitoring process commences, any shortcomings identified in advance notifications will be reported to the authorities on a monthly basis. Information regarding the report sent to the authorities will also be shared with the customer subject to the report.

How to Provide Advance Notice and Schedule a Pilot

There are multiple options for giving advance notice and ordering a pilot. You can continue to use the familiar methods of submitting pre-registrations and ordering a pilot through channels like Pilot Online, email, or by making a phone call. Alternatively, you can use the new Polo – Port Activity App to request a pilot.

Please note that our electronic ordering channels may be replaced in 2025 with the introduction of the Maritime Notification Service NEMO.

Regardless of the method chosen, all information pertaining to advance notifications and pilotage orders must be directed to Finnpilot through the Pilot Dispatch Centre. This ensures that the dates and details are recorded in our operations management system.

We are happy to provide additional information

Finnpilot’s terms of service are accessible on our website in Finnish, Swedish, and English. We recommend reviewing the terms of service and, if necessary, sharing them to ensure the required advance notifications are submitted. You can find a link to the Terms of Service >>

Our aim is to ensure that the Pilot Dispatch Centre can provide the best possible service to our customers. If you require further guidance on how to submit advance notifications, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to help you.

For more information on advance notifications and our Terms of Service, please reach out to:

  • Sanna Sonninen, Pilotage Director, sanna.sonninen(at)
  • Jutta Heinisuo, Manager, Pilot Dispatch Centre, jutta.heinisuo(at)
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