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Class B Pilotage Exemption Certificates (PEC B)

Class B PECs (PEC B) are for skippers of intra-port tugs and tows which are subject to compulsory pilotage between Sea Reach 1 and Margaretness.
See our Regulations and Guidance webpage for our Pilotage Directions.
A PEC requires a signed Contractual Agreement between the PLA and the Operator of the Applicant’s tug(s). It is a condition under the Pilotage Act that a PEC needs to be company and vessel specific, and so cannot be given to individuals to ‘pilot’ any vessel.
This welcome letter summarises the application process. In summary:
1.Contact the Harbour Master (Lower) to obtain a PEC Number.
2.Complete 8 trips as per the Pilotage Regulations. Ensure that:
•You are present in the wheelhouse during trips, accompanied by a PLA Pilot or existing PEC Holder, and have effective responsibility for conduct of the vessel, under the direct supervision of the Pilot or PEC Holder.
•The trips include passages made in darkness.
•The trips are in the vessel for which the PEC B will eventually be used, or one of a similar size and type. (Only qualifying trips up to a year prior to the theory exam can be accepted.)
3.Once tripping is completed, submit this application form, together with an appropriate qualification and medical certificate.
4.Undertake an oral theory examination (as notified by Harbour Master (Lower)), and then
5.Undertake a practical examination with an examining Pilot (as notified by Harbour Master (Lower))
The syllabus for the oral exam and a practical assessment is to be confirmed. Study material, such as charts, the PLA’s Regulations, Codes of Practice and Notice to Mariners are available on the PLA website.
PEC Bs are limited to a specified maximum Length Overall (the sum of the tug and barge lengths), tugs, berths and areas for which they have been examined and assessed, as requested on your PEC application and stipulated on an awarded PEC certificate.


Material Changes to, and Renewal and Revalidation of a PEC B

PEC Bs are renewed annually. To renew or make changes to a PEC B (additional tugs, berths, area or an extension to the LOA), complete and submit the application form with the appropriate sections completed. There may be additional tripping required and/or examination.
PEC Bs are revalidated every 5 years, following the same process of annual renewal, however a practical assessment is also undertaken.