Rules & Regulations

Transit pilotage - Rules and Regulations


Is pilotage compulsory or customary when entering Danish waters? See below for an overview of the numerous rules and regulations which make up the requirements for use of a pilot when navigating Danish territorial waters and the Route Tango or through the Sound.


If you have transit specific questions please contact Customer Relations at or DanPilot Operations at

Danish Pilotage Act - General Regulations

As per the Danish Pilotage Act, it is mandatory to use a pilot for vessels passing to or from Danish ports and/or anchorages in Danish territorial waters, if the vessel;

  1. Carry oil or have uncleaned cargo tanks (including slop tanks) that have not been rendered safe with inert gas
  2. Carry chemicals –defined as IBC Code products type X, Y, Z
  3. Carry gasses
  4. Carry more than 5.000 mt bunker oil
  5. Carry highly radioactive materials

Danish Pilotage Act can be found here. (section 4)

The IMO recommendation

The mandatory regulation in the Pilotage Act and the corresponding Order is supplemented by a number of international recommendations on the use of a pilot. These recommendations are issued by the IMO (the International Maritime Organisation, a UN-organization) and contain several recommendations on the use of a pilot, also on transit of Danish territorial waters.

To comply with the IMO recommendation ships should use a pilot when transiting internal and external Danish territorial waters (that is, passage without calling Danish port or anchorage etc.) through Route Tango and the Sound respectively:


Transit through Route-T (the IMO recommendation)

  • All vessels with a draught of 11 metres or more.
  • Vessels carrying highly radioactive material (INF code materials).


Transit through the Sound (the IMO recommendation)

  • Loaded oil tankers with a draught of 7 metres or more.
  • Loaded chemical ­tankers irrespective of size and gas carriers irrespective of size.
  • Vessels carrying ­highly radio­active material (INF code materials).


(Above is an extract from ‘SN.1/Circular.263 of 23.10.07, section 1.9 and 1.14’)

Link to the IMO recommendation: IMO recommendations at the Danish Maritime Authority (SN.1/Circular.263)


The specific definitions of oil, chemicals etc. are found here: Link to Retsinformation (Danish Law Register - in Danish only) 


The IMO recommendation covers the passage Skagen-Gedser and through Oresund (the Sound).

Obligation to use pilot at Skagen Road area

Please see below PDF for information about pilotage at the Skagen Road area

Pilot marks

Please see below map stating the pilot marks in Danish waters