EU Shipping Law

Page 1585



A. Introduction

40.001 This short chapter discusses the European Union (“EU”) law relating to pilotage. Most of the EU rules discussed elsewhere in this book may well apply to pilotage: for example, the prohibition on discrimination by Member States between EU citizens on the basis of nationality;1 rules on employment (in so far as pilots are employees);2 the rules on competition in so far as pilots are undertakings;3 State authorities and how they organise markets;4 and State aid5 are applicable to pilotage. This chapter concentrates on some specific issues which are not dealt with elsewhere in the book.

B. The 1978 North Sea Pilotage Directive


40.002 On 21 December 1978, the Council adopted a directive concerning pilotage of vessels by deep-sea pilots in the North Sea and English Channel. This was Directive 79/115.6

Legal bases

40.003 The legal bases of this directive are what is now the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) generally and, what is now, Article 100(2) of the Treaty in particular.


40.004 The purpose of the directive is set out in its Preamble which reads:

“[w]hereas for the sake of safety at sea and of preventing marine pollution, it is necessary to ensure that vessels wishing to use the services of pilots in the North Sea and English Channel can call on adequately qualified deep-sea pilots, and to promote the employment of such pilots in vessels flying the flags of Member States”.

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