Pilot Services

The Norwegian Coastal Administration is responsible for the state pilot service. The aim of the pilot service is to safeguard traffic at sea and protect the environment by ensuring that vessels operating in Norwegian waters have navigators with adequate qualifications for safe navigation.

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Compulsory pilotage

Compulsory pilotage is set down in the Compulsory Pilotage Regulations. The regulations stipulate which vessels are subject to compulsory pilotage and the waters where the requirement applies. The compulsory pilotage requirement can be met by either employing a pilot or by use of a Pilot Exemption Certificate.


  • Pilots board the vessels at the designated embarkation marks along the coast by means of a pilot boat or helicopter.
  • On board the vessels the pilot acts as an advisor and provides the crew with the necessary knowledge of the fairways to and from Norwegian ports.
  • The pilotage service is available 24 hours a day, all year round.
  • The pilotage service is financed by the fees paid by the shipping trade that utilises the service.
  • The pilotage service also includes the dispatch of pilots, transport services and the pilot exemption certificate scheme.
  • Every year the pilotage service performs around 45,000 assignments nationwide.
  • Pilot operations are carried out by the regional sea traffic offices under the management of pilot masters.
  • Nationwide the Norwegian Coastal Administration has just under 290 active pilots, stationed at 18 pilot stations.

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