EMPA is a non-profit organisation created in 1963 by a group of Pilots from the newly established European Economic Community. The initial meeting and formation of our association took place in Antwerp, Belgium. Today, EMPA has member associations of maritime Pilots from countries that lie on the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, The Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

Pilotage is a mandatory public service (strictly regulated by States) to ensure maritime safety and protection of the environment. The Pilot’s task is to assist the captains of vessels entering and leaving ports and their approaches by exercising their knowledge of local maritime conditions and operational practices. Their professional experience of navigating ships in restricted waters is what makes Pilotage the most significant risk mitigation measure available. Through skill and knowledge developed from years of training, they can efficiently and safely control the traffic flow and the operation of port facilities while ensuring the risks inherent in sailing ships in sensitive coastal areas are acceptable.

EMPA represents about 4.500 maritime Pilots from 18 European Union member countries and six neighbouring countries: Georgia, Montenegro, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

The role of EMPA is to facilitate the exchange of information between its members to continuously improve the professional and technical proficiency of maritime Pilots in the European Union and neighbouring countries.