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Inland Waterway Council

In European inland waters the latest harmonisation of safety regulations is written down in de European Guideline EC82/714. The Rhine rules is a separate system of harmonisation concerning shipping on the Rhine and all connected waters.

The EU guideline does not content regulations for passenger vessels and leisure craft. This means that the majority of traditional ships have only to comply with national regulations.

In 2006 a new EU guideline will come into force and will replace the EC82/714. This new guideline will also have regulations for passenger vessels and leisure craft. The inland waters are divided in the zones 1 till 4 plus the zone R, which means that in future a community certificate is also valid on the river Rhine.

In the new EU guideline there is a chapter 19 concerning traditional ships. This chapter will still be empty, but it means that the importance of traditional shipping is recognised.

The object of the Inland Waterway Council of EMH is to be the partner of the EU commission in writing the content of chapter 19 and of the Central Rhine Commission to acquire a similar status in the Rhine Rules.

All efforts undertaken by EMH have followed these prime objectives:

  •  to protect operating Traditional Ships from threats due to inappropriate application of modern ship       safety rules,
  • to influence and control any European harmonisation processes on the field of ship safety,
  • to enable international traffic of Traditional Ships under the regime of European and national certification.

Members Inland Waterway Council


Hearing JWG - EMH Strasbourg (March 2012)

On 7 March 2012 a hearing took place in Strasbourg. The joint meeting of experts from the Member States of the European Union and the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine has invited traditional boat organisations to present their opinion about Chapter 19.

The EMH Inland Waterway Council presented the following presentations:
EMH: general presentation
Austria: presentation Freunde Historische Schiffe (FHS)
Belgium: presentation Watererfgoed Vlaanderen
France: presentation Voiles de Loire
Germany: presentation Gemeinsame Kommission für Historische Wasserfahrzeuge (GSHW)
Netherlands: presentation Federatie Oud Nederlandse Vaartuigen (FONV)
United Kingdom: presentation National Historic Ships (NHS)

Proposal for discussions sent to JWG (December 2008)

The Inland Waterway Council of EMH presented a proposal on behalf of the owners of historical vessels for the discussions in the EU Joint Working Group.

Click for EMH proposal CH 19
Click for Explanatory memorandum
Click for Commentary