Building upon the continues dialogue with the United Nation the EMMA project received an official invitation to present its results and policy paper to the UNECE Working Party on the Standardization of Technical Safety Requirements in Inland Navigation (SC.3/WP.3).
The meeting took place in UNECE head quarter Palais des Nations, Geneva.
This was an excellent possibility to inform countries delegates in UNECE about inland waterway transport on-goings in the BSR and underline BSR specifics and needs for a sustainable development of inland waterway transport infrastructure, legal international framework conditions, rules and regulations.
The inland water transport section of UNECE sets international rules and regulation in cooperation with UNECE member states’ delegates. The most important documents of intervention which are continuously improved and updated are:
- The network of European inland waterways and ports of international importance (E waterways and ports) is identified in the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance (AGN), done in Geneva on 19 January 1996. The Agreement is regularly updated to reflect the changes in the state of the network. See here the map of the current contracting Parties.
- The UNECE Inventory of Main Standards and Parameters of the Waterway Network (Blue Book) offers a continuously updated inventory of existing and envisaged standards and parameters of E-waterways and ports in Europe and shows, on an internationally comparable basis, the current inland navigation infrastructure parameters in Europe as compared to the minimum standards and parameters prescribed in the AGN Agreement.
- The Blue Book also identifies bottlenecks and missing links in the existing E waterway network. Since 2012, the information from the Blue Book is available in the online Database of main standards and parameters of the E waterway network.
- European Code for inland waterways (CEVNI) contains a set of harmonized rules for inland navigation providing model rules for national and international legislation and relate to rules of the road, signalling on inland waterways, night and day time marking of vessels as well as waterway signs and marking.
The Code is complemented by the regional and national special requirements, which are tailored to the specific navigational conditions of a particular waterway.
- Guidelines for Waterway Signs and Marking (SIGNI) establish homogeneous rules for waterway signs and marking as well as for their visibility and installation. This instrument is complemented by Guidelines for Waterway Signs and Marking - Resolution No. 59.
- Standardized UNECE Vocabulary for Radio-Connections in Inland Navigation (Resolution No. 35) contains standardized phrases in Dutch, English, French, German and Russian recommended for usage by crew members and shore based personnel during radio communications in order to avoid language barriers.
- Harmonized requirements to the construction of inland navigation vessels not only ensure the safety of navigation but also facilitate the recognition of ship's certificates, thus eliminating the need for more than one inspection of vessels engaged in international transport by inland waterways. Since 1975, UNECE Recommendations on Technical Requirements for Inland Navigation Vessels (Resolution No.61) offer pan-Europeans standards on inland vessels and crew, based on the existing legislation in the EU and non-EU member States. Resolution No.61 also harmonises the minimum manning requirements and the working and rest hours of crews. In addition, the basis for the recognition of boatmasters for both commercial and recreational vessels across the river basins in Europe is established by the UNECE Resolutions Nos. 31 and 40.
- To respond to and to encourage the increased use of information and communication technologies and intelligent transport systems, UNECE actively works on promoting of River Information Services (RIS) and uses of ICT in inland navigation. Guidelines and Recommendations for River Information Services (RIS, Resolution No. 57) providing a basis for planning, implementation and use by UNECE Governments, intergovernmental organizations, river commissions and private entities of river information services in inland navigation to enhance safety and efficiency in operation.
- UNECE Resolution 48 “Recommendation on electronic chart display and information system for inland navigation (Inland ECDIS)” adapts the Electronic Chart Display and Information System – originally developed for maritime navigation – for inland navigation and supplements it some distinct inland features without changing the original standard. The Resolution provides a basis for the EU regulations in this field.
Further information on the working party SC.3/WP.3 can be found here: http://www.unece.org/trans/main/sc3/sc3.html