Inland Waterways — Vessels
Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/474 on the European Hull Data Base
Directive (EU) 2016/1629 on technical requirements for inland waterway vessels
Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 on requirements relating to gaseous and particulate pollutant emission limits and type-approval for internal combustion engines for non-road mobile machinery
Directive 2010/35/EU on transportable pressure equipment
Directive 2009/100/EC on reciprocal recognition of navigability licences for inland waterway vessels
Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE LEGISLATION?
It establishes a system of technical requirements for inland navigation vessels and sets up an inspection system. It aims to make the requirements for navigation certificates on inland waterways identical across the EU, simplifying the rules and contributing to better safety.
It introduces specific rules for:
- transporting pressure equipment and dangerous goods;
- pollutant emission limits for engines;
- reciprocal arrangements for license recognition;
- the European Hull Data Base (EHDB).
Directive (EU) 2016/1629 lays down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels. It establishes the technical requirements for safe navigation on the inland waterways listed in an annex, which are classified as zones 1, 2, 3 or 4, in addition to zone R (special arrangements for the Revised Convention for Rhine Navigation). It does not apply to ferries, naval vessels and most seagoing ships, including tugs and pushers which might only occasionally operate in inland waters.
Inland navigation certificates
EU countries must ensure that craft operating on EU inland waterways are constructed and maintained in accordance with this directive. An inland navigation certificate must be issued following a technical inspection before a craft is put into service.
Authorities may issue provisional certificates in the event of loss or damage to an existing certificate or under certain exemptions as listed in the annexes.
The period of validity of inland navigation certificates for newly built craft must not exceed 5 years (for passenger and high-speed vessels) or 10 years (for all other craft).
Exceptionally, validity can be extended for up to 6 months without a further inspection.
Where major alterations or repairs affect structural soundness, navigation, manoeuvrability or special features, the craft must be inspected again before any further voyage.
If a certificate is not renewed, the national authority must state the reason why, and inform the owner about the appeal procedure and time limits.
EU countries may recognise the navigation certificates of craft from non-EU countries pending explicit agreements.
EU countries ensure that their nominated authorities assign each craft a unique European vessel identification number (ENI), which remains unchanged during the craft’s lifetime.
European Hull Data Base
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/474 lays down rules on collecting, processing and accessing data in the EHDB. The European Commission is responsible for maintaining the EHDB of support measures to ensure safety, ease of navigation and how Directive (EU) 2016/1629 is applied. EU countries ensure that their authorities update the database for the purposes of applying the directive, managing waterway traffic and infrastructure, maintaining safety and collecting statistics, by:
- entering data identifying and describing the craft;
- entering certificates issued, renewed, replaced or withdrawn, with a digital copy of all certificates issued under this directive;
- entering data on any rejected or pending applications for certificates;
- deleting data related to a craft when the craft is scrapped;
- recording any changes to the above data.
Authorities may transfer personal data to a non-EU country or international organisation on a case-by-case basis. Any processing of personal data by EU countries is in accordance with EU law on personal data protection, in particular Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR). The Commission may, on a case-by-case basis, transfer personal data or grant access to the EHDB to an authority of a non-EU country or international organisation provided the requirements of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 are fulfilled (see summary).
The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts specifying:
- the data to be entered into the database by EU countries;
- the types of access permitted;
- the instructions regarding the use and operation of the database, in particular with respect to data security, encoding and processing.
The technical requirements applicable to craft in zones 1,2, 3 and 4 are those set out in ES-TRIN standard 2019/1 drawn up by the European Committee for drawing up Standards in Inland Navigation (CESNI).
Inspection bodies are set up by EU countries, consisting of at least one of each of the following:
- an official from the administration responsible for inland navigation;
- an expert on the design of inland waterway vessels and their engines;
- a nautical expert with an inland waterways boatmaster’s licence which authorises the holder to sail the vessel to be inspected;
- a traditional craft expert for the inspection of traditional craft.
EU countries shall ensure that designated bodies carry out the initial, periodical, special and voluntary inspections referred to in the directive.
Exemptions for certain categories of craft
While maintaining an adequate level of safety, EU countries may authorise exemptions for craft operating on non-linked inland waterways or certain craft having a dead weight not exceeding 350 tonnes or not intended for carrying goods.
To encourage innovation and new technologies, the Commission may allow temporary exemptions for installations or designs other than those included in the annexes — or for trial purposes — provided that equivalent safety is ensured.
Directive 2008/68/EC sets out rules for transporting dangerous goods safely and securely by road, rail or inland waterway in the EU. It also covers aspects such as loading and unloading, transferring to other modes of transport and stops in the course of the transport process. It extends international rules to cover national transport of dangerous goods. Various implementing acts introduce exemptions allowing specific national circumstances to be taken into account, generally in relation to quantity limits and mixed loadings.
Directive 2009/100/EC on the reciprocal recognition of navigability licences applies to inland waterway vessels weighing 20 tonnes or more, which are less than 20 metres in length or 100 m3 in volume, used for transporting goods on inland waterways. Under the legislation, EU countries:
- set out procedures for issuing navigability licences;
- recognise a navigability licence issued by another EU country as if it had issued the licence itself;
- may stop a vessel if it is in a condition that is dangerous to its surroundings, until defects are corrected.
Directive 2010/35/EU introduces detailed rules on transportable pressure equipment* to improve safety and ensure free movement within the EU. It updates previous legislation, particularly on conformity requirements, conformity assessments, and periodic inspections. The directive covers transport by road and rail, as well as inland waterways, and it is closely related to Directive 2008/68/EC.
Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 (see summary) sets up the pollutant emissions limits for new engines to be installed in non-road mobile machinery (including inland waterways vessels). It specifically defines stage V pollutant emissions limits and their dates of application. The regulation aims to reduce pollutant emissions and phase out equipment with the most polluting engines.
FROM WHEN DOES THE LEGISLATION APPLY?
Directive 2008/68/EC has applied since 20 October 2008 and had to become law in EU countries by 30 June 2009.
Directive 2009/100/EC repealed and codified Directive 76/135/EEC from 22 October 2009.
Directive 2010/35/EU has applied since 20 July 2010 and had to become law in EU countries by 30 June 2011.
For engines for inland waterways vessels, Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 has applied since 1 January 2019 (power less than 300 kW) and since 1 January 2020 (power equal or higher than 300 kW). In addition, there is a transitional period of 24 months from the above-mentioned dates.
Directive (EU) 2016/1629 has applied since 6 October 2016 and had to become law in EU countries by 7 October 2018.
Regulation (EU) 2020/474 has applied since 21 April 2020.
For more information, see:
Transportable pressure equipment: an equipment group covering pressure receptacles, tanks, battery vehicles/wagons, multiple-element gas containers and cylinders for gases. This includes gas cartridges but excludes aerosols, open cryogenic receptacles, gas cylinders for breathing apparatus and fire extinguishers.
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/474 of 20 January 2020 on the European Hull Data Base (OJ L 100, 1.4.2020, pp. 12-19)
Directive (EU) 2016/1629 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 September 2016 laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels, amending Directive 2009/100/EC and repealing Directive 2006/87/EC (OJ L 252, 16.9.2016, pp. 118-176)
Successive amendments to Directive (EU) 2016/1629 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 September 2016 on requirements relating to gaseous and particulate pollutant emission limits and type-approval for internal combustion engines for non-road mobile machinery, amending Regulations (EU) No 1024/2012 and (EU) No 167/2013, and amending and repealing Directive 97/68/EC (OJ L 252, 16.9.2016, pp. 53-117)
See consolidated version.
Directive 2010/35/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 June 2010 on transportable pressure equipment and repealing Council Directives 76/767/EEC, 84/525/EEC, 84/526/EEC, 84/527/EEC and 1999/36/EC (OJ L 165, 30.6.2010, pp. 1-18)
Directive 2009/100/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on reciprocal recognition of navigability licences for inland waterway vessels (codified version) (OJ L 259, 2.10.2009, pp. 8-13)
See consolidated version.
Directive 2008/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on the inland transport of dangerous goods (OJ L 260, 30.9.2008, pp. 13-59)
See consolidated version.
Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, pp. 39-98)
Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, pp. 1-88)
last update 13.10.2020