Inland navigation

27 June 2013/Categories: Inland Navigation

Survey on the practices and responsibilities of port health authorities along inland waterways in European Union

Responsible Partner: Universitaetsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

A survey was conducted on the current practices and responsibilities of port health authorities along the inland waterways with a special focus on the rivers Danube and Rhine concerning notification requirements under IHR 2005, risk assessment and management of public health events on ships and practices on issuing of SSCs. 

A total of 13 of 27 countries, 21 authorities participated in the survey.

In summary the following were reported:

  • 90% (n=19) reported that core capacities are fully or partially established.
  • Varied legislation grounds and sanitation inspection practices in inland navigation.
  • The provision of Maritime Declaration of Health and issuing of Ship Sanitation Certificates was heterogeneous.
  • Port to port communication is not well established.

A report was produced describing the legal situation, organizational infrastructure and volume of passenger shipping along the inland waterways and especially the rivers Danube and Rhine, recommendations.

Specific needs for training and communication for port health authorities along rivers were identified and results were used in the development of the training strategy. The DG MOVE Unit E4 dealing with inland navigation vessels was contacted regarding activities. This specific work was coordinated by the UKE -DE.

A scientific publication is under preparation and will present the survey results in detail. 

Hygiene inspections on inland navigation vessels

The European Manual for Hygiene Standards and Communicable Disease Surveillance on passenger ships applies also to inland navigation vessels.

Scope of the European Manual: “Any seagoing or inland passenger ship (with more than 12 passengers) on an international voyage, sailing within the EU waters, providing accommodation and/or food (other than “prepacked” food items that are prepared on a licensed premise ashore) to passengers, and/or potable water from the ship water distribution system to passengers.

A total of 4 hygiene inspections have been conducted on 4 ships in 3 inland ports in 3 countries (one in Bratislava, Slovak Republic in 2014, one in Constanta, Romania in 2015 and two in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2016).


DG MOVE Unit E4 dealing with inland navigation vessels

World Canals:

European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP): 

Upper Rhine Conference:

International Association of Water Works in the Rhine Basin (IAWR):

Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine:

Relevant material


Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels and repealing Council Directive 82/714/EEC (2006/87/EC)

Directive 2005/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on harmonised river information services (RIS) on inland waterways in the Community

Scientific Articles, reports and other:

NAIADES Communication (COM(2006)6)

NAIADES II (2012) Promoting, greening and integrating inland waterway transport in the single EU transport area

REGINA (2009) Reflection group on inland navigation

OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum (2008) Danube waterway – European key transport axis

Epi-Rhin (2000) Cross-Border Warning System for Communicable Diseases (Germany, France, Switzerland)

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