Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 147, Number 46: Regulations Amending the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations

November 16, 2013

Statutory authority

Pilotage Act

Sponsoring agency

Atlantic Pilotage Authority


(This statement is not part of the regulations.)


In 2011, the Atlantic Pilotage Authority (the Authority) contracted with a facilitator to conduct a risk study using the Pilotage Risk Management Methodology (PRMM) for the port of Belledune, New Brunswick, following a preliminary high-level risk review. The purpose of the PRMM was to assess whether pilotage for the port should remain non-compulsory or should become compulsory.

The recommendation from the risk study was that the port of Belledune be designated a compulsory pilotage area with acknowledgement that masters with the proper training, experience, and communication abilities would pose a significantly lower risk.


The objects of the Authority are to establish, operate, maintain and administer, in the interests of safety, an efficient pilotage service within the Canadian waters in and around the Atlantic Provinces, including the waters of Chaleur Bay in the province of Quebec, south of Cap d’Espoir.

In accordance with section 20 of the Pilotage Act, an Authority may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations necessary for the attainment of its objectives.

Belledune is not a difficult port for navigation, but ice is an issue in winter and fairly significant currents are a concern on the approach to the berth and within the camber. Wind is also a consideration due to limited manoeuvring room and slow speeds. The port has a significant volume of commercial traffic, including large Panamax ships and chemical tankers, and there are hopes to leverage major infrastructure improvements to increase trade. A significant amount of traffic comprises Canadian bulk vessels bringing coal from American ports in the Great Lakes. These Laker masters have benefited from a rigorous training and selection process and have high levels of experience manoeuvring in very confined waters in ships that are relatively agile and fitted with sophisticated electronic navigation suites.

The PRMM facilitator determined that local port knowledge was not a significant factor in Belledune in ensuring safe navigation. The size and manoeuvrability of the ship, combined with the master’s experience in ship handling under similar circumstances while controlling tugs for assistance, were stated as the major risk factors.

The Authority has been providing non-compulsory pilotage services in the port of Belledune for many years as it is the custom within the port for all foreign-flagged ships to take a pilot.


The objective is to put a legal obligation on all vessels to use a pilot, from the Authority, in the port of Belledune due to the risks of navigation and the current traffic levels. The Authority will provide the expertise and experience to ensure vessel movements in the port are done safely and responsibly.


The proposed amendments to the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations will add Belledune, New Brunswick, as a compulsory pilotage area. The Belledune compulsory pilotage area consists of all the navigable waters within a line drawn at a two nautical mile radius from the breakwater light at the position latitude 47°54.8′00″ N, longitude 65°50.3′00″ W.

The proposed amendments to the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Tariff Regulations, 1996, will remove Belledune from the list of non-compulsory pilotage areas and add the port to the schedules for compulsory pilotage areas. The tariff for the port will not be changed and will remain as a minimum charge of $469.00, a unit charge of $4.02 per unit, and a movage charge of $291.00.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule applies to this regulation change and represents an increase (an “IN”) to the administrative burden of industry.

The administrative burden would include arranging for the masters to get certificates, and ordering pilots where they were not required previously. There is no anticipated incremental administrative burden on foreign vessels given that it is the port policy that all foreign vessels use a pilot.

The masters will write the exam when they are already in port, so there should not be any noticeable burden for this portion of the process.

It is estimated that there will be approximately 10 masters applying for their certificates. This initial application would generate 30 hours of total administrative burden for industry at an average wage of $28.56 per hour, or $856.80.

Every two years a renewal form will have to be submitted for each of these certificates. Based on an estimate of 0.5 hours per request, that would be 5 additional hours every second year at $28.56 per hour, or $142.80.

Additionally, it is estimated that there will be an additional 10 assignments per year that will require industry to order a pilot for which it would not have previously. Again, based on an estimate of 0.5 hours per request, that would be 5 additional hours every second year at $28.56 per hour, or $142.80.

The total present value of the administrative burden over a 10-year period would be $2,278. The annualized value of the administrative burden would be $324 per year.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal.


There was a general stakeholder meeting near the port and two risk team meetings with all key stakeholders represented late in 2011. There were also consultations with the Canadian Shipowners Association and the Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association early in 2012. A significant number of the concerns from many stakeholders were not directly related to risk, but rather to the perceived economic impact of compulsory pilotage if it were to be imposed; there were also complaints about the PRMM process itself.

There is still concern from Canadian operators regarding the extra cost and burden associated with compulsory pilotage. The Authority recognizes this concern and provided a method for Canadian operators to reduce costs without compromising the safety of the port. The Authority believes that any additional costs will not be onerous to the industry.


The Authority could have allowed the area to maintain the status quo. The Belledune Port Authority has already recognized the risk of foreign vessels manoeuvring in the port without pilots and tugs and mitigated this risk by requiring such vessels to employ tugs and pilots to arrive and depart from the port. However, if the area remains non-compulsory, there would be no legal obligation on a ship to take a pilot in this area.

The decision to designate these waters as compulsory was taken after a thorough and comprehensive Pilotage Risk Management Methodology (PRMM) study was completed. The PRMM process had wide-ranging input from many stakeholders and interested parties, where risks and issues related to the port were identified. The Authority considers the establishment of the Port of Belledune Compulsory Pilotage Area to be the best alternative.

The tariff in the port would remain the same and is intended to reflect the cost structure required in hiring a contract pilot for this area. Contract pilots have been paid 85% of the non-compulsory tariff in the port. The tariff will provide the same level of compensation to the pilot conducting a ship in the Belledune Compulsory Pilotage Area.

The cost of pilot boat service for the Belledune non-compulsory area has been the actual cost of providing the pilot boat. The tariff will provide the same arrangement in the Belledune Compulsory Pilotage Area.

The majority of vessels are already utilizing pilots in this area. The port is a non-compulsory area and the pilots earn 85% of the tariff in the area as part of their contractual arrangement with the Authority. A significant portion of any change in revenues in the area will be absorbed by the pilots. Therefore, the proposed amendments are not expected to have a significant operational or financial impact on the Authority’s activities.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Sections 42, 44, 45 and 47 of the Pilotage Act provide the necessary compliance and enforcement mechanisms with respect to the regulatory requirements for the provision of pilots. As stated in section 47 of the Pilotage Act, “Except where an Authority waives compulsory pilotage, the owner, master or person in charge of a ship subject to compulsory pilotage that proceeds through a compulsory pilotage area not under the conduct of a licensed pilot or the holder of a pilotage certificate is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.”


Captain R. A. McGuinness
Chief Executive Officer
Atlantic Pilotage Authority
Cogswell Tower, Suite 910
2000 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3K1
Telephone: 902-426-2550
Fax: 902-426-4004


Notice is given, pursuant to subsection 20(3) of the Pilotage Act (see footnote a), that the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, pursuant to subsection 20(1) of that Act, proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations.

Interested persons who have reason to believe that a provision of the proposed Regulations that establishes a compulsory pilotage area or that prescribes the qualifications that a holder of any class of licence or any class of pilotage certificate shall meet is not in the public interest may, pursuant to subsection 21(1) of the Pilotage Act (see footnote b), file a notice of objection setting out the grounds for the objection with the Minister of Transport within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. In addition, interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations to the Minister of Transport within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.

Each notice of objection or representation must be clearly marked as a notice of objection or representation, cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice and be sent to Julie Bédard, Manager, Pilotage and Policy, Marine Personnel Standards and Pilotage, Marine Safety Directorate, Department of Transport, Place de Ville, Tower C, 8th Floor, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 (tel.: 613-993-9706; fax: 613-990-1538; email:

Halifax, October 30, 2013

Chief Executive Officer
Atlantic Pilotage Authority



1. Part Ⅰ of the schedule to the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following after item 3:


4. The Belledune compulsory pilotage area consists of all the navigable waters within an arc having a radius of two nautical miles measured from the breakwater light at a position of Latitude 47°54.8′00″ N, Longitude 65°50.3′00″ W.


2. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅱ.