310.0015 Piloting regulation; general provisions.—
(1) Piloting is an essential service of such paramount importance that its continued existence must be secured by the state and may not be left open to market forces.
(2) Because safety is the primary objective in the regulation of piloting by the state and because of the significant economies of scale in delivering the service, the requirement of a large capital investment in order to provide required service, and the fact that pilots are supplying services that are considered to be essential to the economy and the public welfare, it is determined that economic regulation, rather than competition in the marketplace, will better serve to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
(3) The rate-setting process, the issuance of licenses only in numbers deemed necessary or prudent by the board, and other aspects of the economic regulation of piloting established in this chapter are intended to protect the public from the adverse effects of unrestricted competition which would result from an unlimited number of licensed pilots being allowed to market their services on the basis of lower prices rather than safety concerns. This system of regulation benefits and protects the public interest by maximizing safety, avoiding uneconomic duplication of capital expenses and facilities, and enhancing state regulatory oversight. The system seeks to provide pilots with reasonable revenues, taking into consideration the normal uncertainties of vessel traffic and port usage, sufficient to maintain reliable, stable piloting operations. Pilots have certain restrictions and obligations under this system, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) Pilots may not refuse to provide piloting services to any person or entity that may lawfully request such services, except for justifiable concerns relating to safety, or, in the case of a vessel planning a departure, for nonpayment of pilotage.
(b) Pilots may not unilaterally determine the pilotage rates they charge. Such pilotage rates shall instead be determined by the Pilotage Rate Review Committee, in the public interest, as set forth in s. 310.151.
(c) Pilots shall maintain or secure adequate pilot boats, office facilities and equipment, dispatch systems, communication equipment and other facilities, and equipment and support services necessary for a modern, dependable piloting operation.
(d)1. The pilot or pilots in a port shall train and compensate all member deputy pilots in that port. Failure to train or compensate such deputy pilots shall constitute a ground for disciplinary action under s. 310.101. Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to create an agency or employment relationship between a pilot or deputy pilot and the pilot or pilots in a port.
2. The pilot or pilots in a port shall establish a competency-based mentor program by which minority persons, as defined in s. 288.703(3), may acquire the skills for the professional preparation and education competency requirements of a licensed state pilot or certificated deputy pilot. The department shall provide the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives with a report each year on the number of minority persons, as defined in s. 288.703(3), who have participated in each mentor program, who are licensed state pilots or certificated deputy pilots, and who have applied for state pilot licensure or deputy pilot certification.
(e) In any instance of a payment or transfer of funds, a request for the payment or transfer of funds, or a contractual obligation assumed in respect to the payment or transfer of funds from a licensee payor to a pilot or group of pilots, or to any legal entity or fund administered or controlled by or under common control with such pilot or group of pilots, the pilot or group of pilots shall provide to the licensee payor, at the time the payment or transfer or request for the payment or transfer is made or the obligation is assumed in respect to the payment or transfer, a detailed accounting of the specific assets, tangible or intangible, in which an interest is being directly or indirectly purchased or for which the licensee payor is being granted an interest in return for such payment or transfer of funds or such contractual obligation. This paragraph does not apply to either payments or transfers of funds if their aggregate amounts are less than $1,000. As used in this paragraph, “licensee payor” means any current or prospective state pilot or deputy pilot.
History.—s. 338, ch. 94-119; s. 66, ch. 2000-356; s. 2, ch. 2010-225.