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Maritime pilotage

Chapter IX
MARITIME PILOTAGE

Article 169.- Regime of maritime pilotage in Vietnam
1. The employment of pilots in Vietnam aims to ensure marine navigation safety, marine navigation security and prevention of environmental pollution, and contribute to protecting the national sovereignty as well as exercising national sovereign rights and jurisdiction.
2. For Vietnamese seagoing vessels and foreign seagoing vessels, when operating in the Vietnamese navigable areas where maritime pilotage is compulsory, pilots must be employed for their navigation and pilotage dues must be paid. In navigable areas where maritime pilotage is not compulsory, the master may, if deeming it necessary to ensure safety, request a Vietnamese pilot to steer the vessel.
The Government shall specify cases of exemption from employment of Vietnamese pilots for steering for vessels operating in Vietnamese navigable areas where maritime pilotage is compulsory.

Article 170.- Maritime pilotage organization
1. The maritime pilotage organization is an organization providing services of navigating seagoing vessels to enter or leave seaports and to operate in Vietnamese navigable areas where maritime pilotage is compulsory.
2. The Government shall provide for the organization and operation of maritime pilotage.

Article 171.- Legal status of maritime pilots
1. The maritime pilot shall advice the master on navigating the vessel in navigational conditions in the areas where the maritime pilot steers the vessel. The employment of maritime pilots shall not relieve the master of the responsibility to command the vessel.
2. The maritime pilot, while steering the vessel, shall be under the command of the master of the steered vessel.
3. The master shall have the right to choose a maritime pilot or to suspend the maritime pilot’s service and request his/her substitution.

Article 172.- Conditions for practicing pilotage
1. Being Vietnamese citizens
2. Being physically fit
3. Having a certificate of maritime pilotage competence.
4. Piloting vessels only in the maritime pilotage area in conformity with the granted maritime pilotage area certificate.
5. Being under the management of a maritime pilotage organization.

Article 173.- Rights and obligations of maritime pilots when steering vessels
1. The maritime pilot shall have the right to refuse to steer the vessel and inform the responsible port authority and maritime pilotage organization when the master deliberately disobeys his/her instructions or reasonable recommendations in the presence of a third party.
2. The maritime pilot shall be obliged to furnish the master with all instructions concerning the navigational conditions in the area of pilotage and to recommend the master on activities incompliant with regulations on marine navigation safety and other relevant provisions of law.
3. The maritime pilot shall be obliged to notify the port authority of the steering of the vessel and dangerous navigational changes which he/she has detected while steering the vessel.
4. The maritime pilot must exercise his/her obligations with due diligence. The maritime pilot’s steering duties shall terminate when securing the vessel at anchor, mooring it or safely taking it to the agreed place or being substituted by another pilot. The maritime pilot shall not be allowed to leave the vessel without the consent of the master.

Article 174.- Obligations of masters and shipowners when employing maritime pilots
1. The shipmaster shall be obliged to furnish the maritime pilot with accurate information on the navigational properties and characteristics of the vessel; to ensure the pilot’s safety when boarding and leaving the vessel; to provide the pilot with working and accommodation facilities throughout his/her stay on board the vessel.
2. The shipowner shall have to compensate for losses resulting from the maritime pilot’s mistakes while steering the vessel as for those resulting from mistakes of the vessel’s crewmen.
3. For the safety reason, if the maritime pilot cannot depart from the vessel after he/she has fulfilled his/her duties, the master must arrange the vessel to call at the nearest port for the maritime pilot’s departure. The shipowner or the operator of the vessel shall have to arrange for the maritime pilot’s return to the place where he/she was received and pay all the expenses arising therefrom.

Article 175.-Liabitlity of maritime pilots upon occurrence of losses resulting from steering mistakes
The maritime pilot shall only bear administrative or criminal liability for losses resulting from his/her steering mistakes in accordance with the provisions of law but not bear civil liability therefore.

Article 176.-Detailed regulations on maritime pilots
1. The Transport Minister shall provide for navigable areas where pilotage is compulsory, criteria for training, grant and withdrawal of maritime pilotage competence certificates and maritime pilotage area certificates.
2. The Finance Ministry shall provide for the maritime pilotage tariff in Vietnam after consulting the Transport Ministry.

Article 177.- Pilotage for foreign public-duty vessels, fishing vessels, inland waterway crafts, hydroplanes and military vessels
The provisions of this Section shall apply to foreign public-duty vessels, fishing vessels, inland waterway crafts, hydroplanes and military vessels visiting Vietnam .