Because it was insufficiently aligned with developments in the shipping industry, the system regarding pilotage obligations was changed to New Style Pilotage on 1 January 2021. The common denominator in the review process was security in ports and on Dutch waters.
New Style Pilotage represents a significant change for a number of shipowners, including captain-owners. For example, the Register of Small Ships is no longer applicable. Positive aspects include i). the transitional arrangements for a number of categories, ii). the commitment to stakeholder consultation and iii). the fact that the new legislation is an experimental provision contributing to a law that remains up to date.
New Style Pilotage works with a number of so-called Pilot Exemption Certificate (PEC) categories that apply to different ship types. The biggest change is that a PEC is linked to a captain or first officer and a ship. For each PEC category, there are conditions to which a captain or first officer must comply. Furthermore, after obtaining a PEC in a certain category, various combinations can be possible.