Pilotage licences and Pilotage Exemption Certificates

Maritime Safety Queensland regulates the provision of pilotage services in all Queensland ports.

All ships that are 50m or more proceeding within a Queensland compulsory pilotage area must either carry a licensed marine pilot or be under the command of a master who holds a Pilotage Exemption Certificate for the area.

Maritime Safety Queensland may grant a master an exemption from pilotage within a declared Queensland compulsory pilotage area. An exemption from pilotage will only be endorsed for the master for a particular ship, or class of ship, for a particular declared compulsory pilotage area, or part thereof. Exemptions are not available for offshore berths in Queensland.

To apply for a pilot licence or exemption, please complete the marine pilotage qualification form.

For more information download the guidelines on pilot and exempt master training document. Alternatively, please contact one of our regional offices.

Special conditions in the compulsory pilotage areas

Special conditions may apply in the compulsory pilotage areas of Southport, Mackay, Cairns, Cooktown, Port Douglas, Karumba and Thursday Island  for ships less than 50m in length. These conditions may be applied to ship movements in specific locations within these compulsory pilotage areas, namely marinas and channels with restrictive depths or widths. If applicable, they will be determined by the relevant regional harbour master and provided at the time of the initial notification of arrival. 

Download the Southport Pilotage area conditions PDF for more information. 

For more information about special conditions please contact the relevant Maritime Safety Queensland regional office.  

Last updated
24 January 2023