Pilotage Exemption Certificate (PEC)

Pilotage Exemption Certificates (PEC) are available for Masters and Deck Officers with the required experience of sailing into and out of Harwich Harbour on a regular basis.

Harwich Haven Authority is responsible for assessing applicants and issuing Pilotage Exemption Certificates; these are based on very specific criteria and applicable only to the vessels the applicants regularly sail on.

As well as having the required experience, a Pilot Exemption Certificate applicant must also undergo in-depth training and sit an exam to prove that he or she has the required skills and knowledge of the approaches, estuary and port to navigate to their berth without a pilot.

Pilotage Exemption Certificates must be renewed annually. Harwich Haven Authority has a statutory duty to regularly review the training needs of Pilotage Exemption Certificate holders.


Apply for a Pilotage Exemption Certificate here

All applicants will be interviewed to ensure you meet the Authority’s strict requirements. You will also be assessed during passage into and out of the Harbour by a Harwich Haven Authority Pilot.

The number of passage assessments you complete will be determined by the parameters of the vessel. Further information can be found in the Information for Masters and PEC Holders document.

Once all assessments have been completed you will sit an exam. The exemption certificate will be issued if the pass mark is achieved.

To renew an existing Pilotage Exemption Certificate
Download, complete and return the following forms to [email protected]

  • PEC08 (PDF/Microsoft Word)
  • Letter of agreement (PDF)
  • Copy of certificate of competency
  • Medical (showing expiry date)


To request an amendment to an existing Pilotage Exemption Certificate
Download, complete and return the following form to [email protected]

Note: Charges for PEC admin are included in the current schedule of charges.