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Inland Waterway Council

In European inland waters the first harmonisation of safety regulations was 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.

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

In 2006 a new EU guideline EC2006/87 came into force and replaced the EC82/714. This new guideline has also 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 a community certificate is also valid on the river Rhine.

All passenger vessels and leisure craft existing and sailing in 2008 have the opportunity until 30 December 2018 to acquire a special certificate as existing ship. Without this certificate even an old ship will be considered a new build vessel if the first certificate is issued after 30 December 2018 and this vessel should comply all new build regulations.

In the EU guideline EC2006/87 there is a chapter 19 concerning traditional ships. This chapter is still empty, but it means that the importance of traditional shipping is recognised.

In October 2018 a new system of harmonized regulations of both EU and Rhine regulations will come into force, ES-TRIN 2015/1 and EC2016/1629. In these rules are for traditional ships the chapters 20 (sailing passenger vessels) 24 (traditional ships) and 26 (leisure craft) important (if the ship is longer than 20 meter or the product of length, width and draft is more than 100m3)

The object of the Inland Waterway Council of EMH is to be the partner of the EU commission in writing the content of chapter 24 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

See all translations of the Directive

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