PNG Ports Pilotage Services Department.

PNG Ports Pilotage Services Department is delegated with the responsibility of providing Marine Piloting services for the declared pilotage areas in Papua New Guinea which include six major and ten minor ports besides pilot service requests for non compulsory pilotage areas like Oro Bay, Kavieng, Wewak, Lorengau, Buka, Kieta and Vanimo.

Pilotage is an essential service provided to ships manoeuvring within port limits and coastal waters declared as Pilotage areas. PNGPCL, and its predecessor(s)have been involved in providing this service safely and efficiently for over 50-years as part of the overall services it provides at seaports and declared Pilotage areas.

Marine piloting is defined as competently and safely piloting vessels within the limits of Seaports, Declared Pilotage Areas (coastal), and any pilotage request situations in accordance with the best practice of seamanship, shiphandling, safety standards, and legislative requirements and established operating procedures. Marine Piloting promotes maritime safety and avoidance of damage to ships, port infrastructure, the marine environment and local community property.

Piloting Service is provided by PNG Ports in all 15 operational ports. The 6 major ports of Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Alotau, Rabaul and Kimbe are mandated as Compulsory Pilotage Ports. Piloting services at all other ports are available and provided upon request by itinerant pilots through shipping agents. Port Moresby and Lae have a 24/7 Pilotage operation.


Pilotage Regulation

Marine Piloting Service is a mandatory function delegated to maritime authorities by an Act of parliament. This function is regulated by The Merchant Shipping (Pilotage) Regulation 2006 (No 12 of 2006), which is currently in force.

PNG Ports Maritime Compliance assists with enforcing the Pilotage Rules and Regulations at the water front where appropriate.


Pilotage Authority

 New Pilot Boat

The National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) is the mandated Pilotage authority under the Merchant Shipping Act (MS Act). In accordance with Section 196 of the MS Act, NMSA is empowered to declare a port or sea passage to be subject to Pilotage and such takes effect from the date a Gazettal Notice is published in relation thereto. Furthermore, pursuant to Section 197 of the said Act, NMSA has mandated authority to appoint a person or entity to be a Pilotage authority in respect of a declared Pilotage area.

Until the new standards developed by NMSA are promulgated, NMSA has requested for, and presently allowed,  PNG Ports, Pilots to conduct the piloting operations in Papua New Guinea at the following ports.


The following ports are Compulsory Pilotage Ports;
Port Moresby
Non-Compulsory Pilotage Ports
Oro Bay


Routine Pilotage Operation

The master or an agent of a vessel requiring a pilot must give notice to port control the vessel's Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) at the Pilot Boarding Ground (PBG) not less than 72 hours in advance of that time; re-confirm the vessel's ETA not less than 24 hours (or immediately upon departing the last port if voyage is less than 24 hours) prior to arrival; and confirm ETA 4 hours prior to arrival at the PBG.

Vessels requiring a pilot to shift within port limits or depart from a port are required to submit a pilot request 4 hours prior to the pilot boarding time.

Upon boarding, the master and pilot exchange information regarding navigational procedures, local conditions and the ship's characteristics including the pilot's proposed passage plan.

The pilot conducts the vessel in an advisory capacity to safely pilot the ship.

The master of the ship remains always in command of his ship, with the responsibility for her ultimate safety. He is expected to cooperate with, and support the pilot but has authority to overrule the pilot’s decision for a genuine valid reason.

Pilot boats are used exclusively for transferring a pilot onto a vessel requiring pilot or disembarking from a vessel after rendering piloting service.


Pilot Boats

PNG Ports currently is operating a fleet of 17 Pilot Boats distributed throughout our ports of operation. We are expecting an additional 2 new boats to assist in our LNG Operation

Vessel Name and Current Location

Port Moresby
Port Moresby
Port Moresby
Port Moresby
Port Moresby



PNG Ports Pilotage trains its pilots in line with the requirements of the NMSA Pilotage Training Guidelines and ensure that their continuous professional development are maintained in accordance to the International Maritime Pilotage Association training standard. Pilots engaged in our LNG operation undergo very intensive simulator exercises.


Future Trends

Coastal Piloting will open doors to huge potential for the PNG government to generate revenue by regulating vessel traffic movement in its archipelagic waters, through recommended or compulsory pilotage.


Long-Term Resource Development

 New Pilot Boat

As part of PNG Ports sustainable development objectives and the wider community service obligations, we have made a commitment to sponsor school leavers originating from various Maritime Provinces to undergo training at the PNG Maritime College in Madang through the cadetship program for seafaring careers and potentially the supply of new pilots in the longer term. This program began in 2010 and there are currently eight students studying at PNGMC. Four have completed their 1st year and have now embarked on their practical sea time learning experience while the rest have started this year. 

For general enquiries e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or refer to contact list below:

Captain Joji Takape Chief Pilot This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 70218903 3084200
Captain George Manary Senior Marine Pilot This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 76242028 3084200
Captain Francis Pokary Senior Marine Pilot This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 76241984 3084200

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Milestones in Progress

Lae Port Extension

Lae Tidal Basin Project
 Lae Industrial Park
Lae Industrial Park

 PNG Ports Shipping schedule mobile app