Pilotage is compulsory for vessels of 500 GT and over calling at Maltese ports, with the exception of ships that hold a legal exemption or vessels with an authorised Master in command. This service is provided by the Malta Maritime Pilots Co-operative Society Limited who is obliged to adhere with contractual obligations as established by the Maritime Pilotage Regulations 2003 and the Agreement signed between the Authority for Transport in Malta and the Co-operative.
With respect to pilotage services, the Ports and Yachting Directorate is responsible for ensuring that Pilots provide the contractual services, to include the boarding of vessels at the various Pilot Stations located outside Valletta and Marsaxlokk. In bad weather, subject that specific conditions are met, boarding may be permitted at the harbour entrance. Pilotage is available on a 24-hour basis.
Tug Malta is the only licensed company that can carry out harbour towage operations within the harbours of the Maltese Islands. The company is owned by Rimorchiatori Malta Limited which forms part of Rimorchiatori Riuniti SpA of Genova, Italy.
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The Authority licenses mooring men who work on a twenty-four hour shift basis. Mooring men are regulated by the Pilotage and Mooring Regulations 1975. Mooring men are expected to provide mooring services to ships in ports during berthing and unberthing operations.
Bunkering operations within port limits is permitted at the various terminals, subject that the relevant regulations, namely the Dangerous Cargo Ships, Marine Terminals and Facilities and Bunkering Regulation are complied with, together with the appropriate pre-notification.
Offshore Bunkering is carried out at various designated bunkering areas around Malta. Vessels will be allocated a relevant area by the Vessel Traffic Services, which forms part of the Ports and Yachting Directorate on arrival. Five different areas around the island are available and the area is allocated depending on weather conditions and type of vessel. A fleet of 17 bunker barges which are owned by different private companies currently operate within this service sector.
Other services at the Ports in Malta include conveyances, crew change, surveying and victualling.