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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: March 5, 2013 02:31 PM
From: Representative Joseph T. Hackett
To: All House members
Subject: Pilotage Rates for Ships Utilizing the Delaware River & Bay
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to establish an updated schedule of rates that river pilots may charge for conducting vessels up or down the Delaware River and Bay.

U.S. law requires every ship engaged in foreign trade to have a licensed river pilot aboard while approaching or leaving a port of call. Ships using the Delaware River and Bay for such activities must use a pilot licensed by either Pennsylvania or Delaware and are assessed for this service by the Pilots’ Association for the Bay and River Delaware.

The Port of Philadelphia alone is the 6th largest port in the United States for handling imported goods and processed almost $50 billion worth of cargo in 2012.

The establishment and regulation of river pilots for the Bay and River Delaware was originally provided for by Act 156 of 1803 and has been overseen by the General Assembly since. Act 210 of 1889 enumerated allowable pilotage rates for vessels using the waterway and provided for triennial updates to those rates. Current pilotage rates were established with the passage of Act 71 of 2010 and are due to be updated this year.

The rates set forth in my legislation are the result of a negotiated agreement between the Pilots’ Association and the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay. This legislation is also supported by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, South River Maritime and PBF Energy (owner of the Delaware City, DE and Paulsboro, NJ oil refineries).

Please contact Kevin Andrews in my office at kandrews@pahousegop.com if you have any questions.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Introduced as HB1029