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Parliament expected to pass pilot act today

Critics warn bill will endanger marine environment and not necessarily lower prices


How sure can ships be in the future that their pilot really knows what he's doing? (photo: Colourbox)

June 11, 2014
07:00

by Nanna G Vansteelant


Parliament is expected to today approve the liberalisation of the Danish Pilotage Act.

Ahead of presenting the bill, the Ministry of Business and Growth in Denmark will argue that liberalisation will mean lower prices for ships hiring pilots to navigate unfamiliar waters.

Bjarne Cæsar Jensen, the chairman of Danske Lodser, the Danish pilots association, disagrees.

He asserts that prices will only fall for the big companies, the international shippers and oil companies, and that this could be problematic.

The multinationals, he points out, won't be held responsible should their actions cause damage to the marine environment. Instead the bill will end up with the taxpayer.

A 2013 report from COWI concurs that a competitive market will reduce safety and jeopardise the marine environment.

Already some of the lowest
Prices are unlikely to fall because the public service DanPilot already charges some of the lowest prices in northern Europe. It is also committed to public safety and protecting the Danish marine environment.

According to Jyllands-Posten, Romania and Argentina employ free-market pilotage and prices have not fallen.

If liberalisation is passed, Denmark will come into direct opposition to the Navigation Safety Regulations employed by most countries, including Germany, Japan, Korea, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Canada and Poland.



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