Pilotage and certficats of recognition

A pilot certificate is a document issued by the Danish Maritime Authority to certify that the holder is authorized to perform pilotage duties as specified

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Certificates 

In order to perform pilotage in Danish waters, you must hold a valid certificate for one or more pilotage areas, issued by The Danish Maritime Authority.

A pilot trainee ID card is a certificate issued by the Danish Maritime Authority to certify that the holder is training to become a pilot and is entitled to participate in training accompanied by a registered pilot.

Requirements 

It is a requirement that the pilot trainee has been trained to a level at which the applicant is able to sail a ship regardless of its size.

Apply for a pilot trainee ID card

In order to get the authorization, you must send an application to the Danish Maritime Authority.

  • The application must contain:
  • Documentation for certificate of competency,
  • Masters certificate/education/training
  • Pilotage area(s)
  • Valid medical certificate
  • A digital photo and a signature (uploaded as a file with signature written clearly in black pen).

When can I expect an answer?

The decision on whether or not to issue an authorization will be made as soon as possible after the complete application is received. In straightforward cases, you can expect an answer from the Danish Maritime Authority within two weeks. If a decision cannot be reached within two weeks, the Danish Maritime Authority will contact you and inform you about the expected processing time. 

Validity

The pilot trainee ID card is valid for 1 year in the areas applied for and granted.

New areas

To achieve further areas, a new pilot trainee ID card covering these must be applied for.

The granting of new areas is valid for 1 year from the date of granting.

The issue and expiry dates on the ID card follow the area last granted, but the expiry date for each area follows the date the specific area is granted.

A pilot certificate is a document issued by the Danish Maritime Authority to certify that the holder is authorized to perform pilotage duties as specified.

Requirements

The pilot certificate is issued upon application if the applicant:

  1. has been trained to a level at which the applicant is able to sail a ship regardless of its size,
  2. has a maritime trading certificate as a master,
  3. has at least two years’ experience as a master or chief mate from relevant shipping operations,
  4. can prove adequate knowledge of electronic nautical charts (ECDIS),
  5. possesses a valid health certificate without annotations, cf. the provisions of the Danish Maritime Authority,
  6. has undergone pilotage training, cf. chapter 3 in the executive order no. 1077 21. November 2012,
  7. has undergone training in company of a certified pilot, cf. chapter 4 in the executive order no. 1077 21. November 2012,
  8. has special knowledge and experience of the geographical pilotage area applying for, cf. chapter 5, in the executive order no. 1077 21. November 2012,
  9. has passed a defined theoretical and practical aptitude test, cf. chapter 6 in the executive order no. 1077 21. November 2012,
  10. is associated with a pilotage service provider that is registered in accordance with section 24 of the Danish pilotage act and
  11. does not have any significant overdue debt to public authorities, defined as amounts to the order of DKK 50,000 or more.

How to apply for a pilot certificate

In order to get the authorization, you must send an application to the Danish Maritime Authority.

The application must contain documentation for sailing frequency as pilot trainee. 

When you have passed the aptitude test, the Danish Maritime Authority will issue a pilot certificate.

When can I expect an answer?

The decision on whether or not to issue authorization will be made as soon as possible after completion of the defined theoretical and practical aptitude test. In straightforward cases, you can expect to get an answer from the Danish Maritime Authority within two weeks. If the decision cannot be reached within two weeks the Danish Maritime Authority will contact you and inform you about the expected processing time. 

Validity

The pilot certificate is valid for 5 years from the date of issue for the area(s) applied for and granted. 

For each pilotage area, an annual specific pilotage frequency is required in order to keep the pilotage certificate.

The issue and expiry dates of the pilot certificate follow the area last granted. The expiry date for each area follows the date the specific area was granted.

New areas

When further areas have been achieved on the basis of a pilot trainee period and a passed aptitude test, they will be included on the certificate after application.

A deep-see pilot certificate is a pilot certificate for deep-sea pilotage issued by an authority that is competent to do so according to a recommendation by the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Requirements

It is required that the applicant has sailed in the relevant pilotage area the required number of times.

The holder of a deep-sea pilot certificate issued by an authority entitled to do so pursuant to and in accordance with the IMO recommendations may have this replaced by a Danish deep-sea pilot certificate if the holder is associated with a Danish pilotage service provider and submits his foreign certificate. 

The Danish deep-sea pilot certificate shall be issued with the same coverage area and the same restrictions as the foreign certificate, although never for other countries’ territorial waters.

How to apply for a deep-see pilot certificate

In order to get the authorization, you must send an application to the Danish Maritime Authority.

The application must contain documentation for sailing frequency in the area(s) applied for, a photo and a signature (upload as file with signature written clearly in black pen).

When can I expect an answer?

The decision on whether or not to issue authorisation will be made as soon as possible after the complete application is received. In straight forward cases you can expect to get an answer from the Danish Maritime Authority within two weeks. If the decision cannot be reached within two weeks the Danish Maritime Authority will contact you and inform you about the expected processing time. 

Validity

The deep-sea pilot certificate is valid for 5 years in the areas applied for and granted.

The issue and expiry dates on the deep-sea pilot certificate follow the area last granted. The expiry date for each area follows the date the specific area is granted.

Masters, who have special knowledge and experience of a geographical pilotage area at the level of applicants to a pilot certificate, may be issued with a pilotage exemption certificate.

The pilot exemption certificate

A pilot exemption certificate is a certificate issued by the Danish Maritime Authority that exempts a ship from an obligation to engage a pilot if the holder of the pilot exemption certificate is sailing the ship, and if the pilot exemption certificate covers the type of ship, its condition and the waters in which the ship is sailing.

Requirements

The pilot exemption certificate shall be issued upon application if the applicant: 

  1. can document that he or she has sailed in the relevant pilotage area the required number of times
  2. has passed a defined theoretical aptitude test.

Apply for a pilot exemption certificate

In order to get the authorization, you must send an application to the Danish Maritime Authority.

Once the application has been approved by the Danish Maritime Authority, an electronic file will be created, which the applicant must use for reporting the sailing frequency.

If it is not possible for the applicant to report the sailing frequency electronically, this must be noted in the application under remarks. Subsequently, the Danish Maritime Authority will forward a form for reporting the sailing frequency.

When the applicant has acquired sufficient special knowledge and experience of the geographical pilotage area applied for, the Danish Maritime Authority must be contacted in order to arrange for the aptitude test for a pilot exemption certificate.

When the aptitude test has been passed, the Danish Maritime Authority will issue a pilot exemption certificate. 

An applicant may be issued a certificate of access to conduct pilotage. That is, if he or she proves to have professional qualifications that can be recognized under the rules of the Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications) and if he or she furthermore meets the conditions of the Pilotage Act and the Executive Order. This applies regardless of whether it is a temporary and occasional pilotage or establishment

Requirements

The application must contain the following information:

  1. Applicant's full name.
  2. Applicant's contact information, residential address, including telephone number and e-mail address.
  3. If someone other than the applicant, e.g. a company, sends documents on behalf of the applicant, name, address, telephone number and possibly email to the submitter.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  1. Documentation of the applicant's nationality.
  2. Authorization certificate or another qualification certificate, which gives the applicant access to pursue the pilotage profession in question in the applicant's home country.
  3. Documentation of any professional experience, including documentation of the person's relevant local knowledge, cf. Chapters 4 and 5 in the executive order on the issuing of pilot certificates and pilot exemption certificates no. 1077 21. November 2012 , and knowledge of electronic charts.
  4. Valid health certificate without remarks.
  5. Proof that the applicant is without significant overdue debt to the public sector, by which is meant amounts in the order of DKK 50,000 (2021) and over.

When dealing with cases concerning temporary and occasional services, in accordance with Article 5 (2) of the Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications), before the provision of the service, the service provider must, for the first time, submit a written notification in accordance with Article 7 (2) of the Directive. The notification must be accompanied by the documents referred to in Article 7 (1) of the Directive. 

In connection with the notification, the service provider must send the following documents:

  1. Proof of nationality
  2. Contact information, including information on residential address, e-mail and telephone number
  3. Proof that the service provider is legally established in the Member State of establishment and that the person concerned has not been deprived of the right to carry out pilotage activities, even temporarily
  4. Evidence of professional qualifications
  5. Valid health certificate without remark

The Danish Maritime Authority will assess the applicants’ professional qualifications, as this is a profession that has consequences for public health and safety. If there are significant differences between the qualifications of the applicant and the professional qualifications required by the Pilotage Act and the Executive Order, including in particular the requirement of special knowledge and experience of the geographical pilotage area applied for,  and this difference may harm the health or safety of the service recipient, The Danish Maritime Authority can grant the applicant the opportunity to take an aptitude test to prove that he or she or she possesses the necessary qualifications. 

Establishment cases are dealt with in accordance with the rules in Articles 11-13, 14.1, 14.2, 14.4, 14.5, 14.6, 14.7 and 50-52 of the Directive. Certificates of education issued in a third country are processed in accordance with Article 3.3 of the Directive.

Under the conditions set out in Article 14.1, the Danish Maritime Authority may require the applicant to undergo a probationary period not exceeding three years or to take an aptitude test. The applicant has the right to choose between a probationary period and an aptitude test.

The Danish Maritime Authority's requirements for a possible probationary period or aptitude test are applied in compliance with the principle of proportionality. The applicant's relevant work experience or lifelong learning in a Member State or a third country is also taken into account.

If you want to complaint about a decision regarding the application of a Pilotage Certificate, complaints must be addressed to the Danish Shipping Tribunal.

The Secretariat for the Tribunal is located at the Danish Appeals Boards Authority, Toldboden 2, DK-8800 Viborg.

Please feel free to contact the Secretariat for further information by telephone (+45 72 40 56 00) or by e-mail (anke@naevneneshus.dk).

Last updated: 12 April 2021