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ES-TRIN 2019 Standard adopted by CESNI

Solutions for difficult transitional measures have been incorporated in ES-TRIN 2019!

Brussels, 13 November 2018 – Press release ESO and EBU.                                
The CESNI-Committee has adopted on 8 November 2019 the new ‘European Standard laying down Technical Requirements for Inland Navigation vessels’, ES-TRIN 2019, replacing ES-TRIN 2017. The solutions for difficult transitional measures are incorporated.

EBU und ESO associated in the “ European Inland Waterway Platform ( shortly IWT Platform)“ have fully participated in the negotiations to make sure that the interests of the inland waterway transport sector will be taken into account as far as possible. The common efforts are now clearly yielding fruit!

Solutions for difficult transitional measures
It takes long to formulate new regulations and if necessary even longer to change the regulations. Detailed studies, extensive deliberations and many years of intense engagement of the inland
waterway transport sector have resulted in a solution for difficult transitional measures. They refer to noise protection, models for electrical equipment and installations, ship’s boats, escape routes and propulsion systems for passenger vessels, all serious bottlenecks for the inland waterway transport sector. EBU and ESO are pleased that with ES-TRIN 2019 solutions in the interest of the inland waterway transport sector were found.

ES-TRIN 2019
In order to guarantee a high level of safety of the transport on inland waterways and at the same time considering the technological developments, the European Standard laying down Technical Requirements for Inland Navigation vessels (ES-TRIN) is subject to a regular revision. ES-TRIN on itself is not binding.
The Central Commission for the Navigation on the Rhine and the European Union will refer to it in their statutory framework, as with currently applicable Standard ES-TRIN 2017.
ES-TRIN 2019 will enter into force on 1 January 2020.

Downloadlinks for the complete document:

(Think before printing, document counts over 500 pages.)

NL – CESNI ES-TRIN 18_15 nl
EN – CESNI ES-TRIN 18_15 en
DE – CESNI ES-TRIN 18_15 de
FR – CESNI ES-TRIN 18_15 fr

ESO launches Barging Terms & Charterparty

ESO Inland Barging Terms & Charterparty version 1
Developed by ESO’s Commission for Tanker Shipping and ADN               pdf-versions      

Brussels, May 3rd, 2018. This day the ESO Inland Barging Terms & Charterparty were launched at the 4th European Oil Barge Conference, organised by ASDEM Ltd in Rotterdam. A step forward in the professionalisation of the inland tanker shipping sector.
The inland tanker shipping needed its own terms and charterparty just as any other professional sector. Therefore back in 2017 ESO started developing these.with a group of experts and members.


Mr. Co Abercrombie (director BLN-Schuttevaer) presenting Barging Terms & Charterparty

The development of the ESO Inland Barging Terms & Charterparty was done from the viewpoint of the shipowner/actual carrier. Striving for consensus as well as creating a document which can be used for negotiation, the ESO Inland Barging Terms & Charterparty form the basis for this. These terms can be seen as a modernisation of the current TTB-conditions or other common terms which are used today.

As a European branch organisation which defends the interests of the private inland shipping entrepreneurs, ESO took its responsibility to form basic terms and a charterparty which strengthens the position of the individual shipowner/actual carrier, active in the inland tanker shipping sector. Meanwhile ESO continues to support the entrepreneurs and create a modern and professional sector, in consensus with all parties involved.

You can download the ESO Inland Barging Terms & Charterparty here: Barging Terms & Charterparty.

At this moment the document is only available in the english language.

Kester succeeds Duursema as ESO’s SG

“Every one can make a difference, but together we bring about change”                

Brussels, 26 February, 2018 (ESO) – During the New Year’s reception of the ESO on February 26th in Brussels, nestor Gerard Kester was appointed as the new SG of the ESO. He succeeds the departing Secretary General, Hester Duursema (equally managing director of Royal BLN-Schuttevaer). The chairman Christiaan van Lancker spoke praising words about the role Duursema has played for the sector. He summarised her contribution as “sublime” and predicted a prosperous future for her.


Duursema has full confidence in her successor. “Gerard does not only have an incredible knowledge base of inland shipping, but he also has a lot of heart for the sector. These are things that ESO is known for, passion and expertise. “Kester has been involved in inland navigation for decades. For example, his first job at the end of the seventies, was to ensure that women on board were allowed to count as crew members.

ESO also said goodbye to Herman Verschueren, Advisor-General DG Shipping, Exploitation and Intermodality at the FPS Mobility and Transport. Verschueren will retire after many years of involvement with IWT. We are very grateful to him for the enormous commitment to the establishment of the European inland navigation platform. Until his very last working days he has put his teeth into it.

          Christiaan van Lancker with Mr. Herman Verschueren and Mrs. Gesine Meissner

Human Capital
In line with the above, the president’s speech was dominated by the theme of “human capital”. 2017 was a historic year, when we look at the commitment that is being made to better safeguard and develop human capital. The professional qualification directive should ensure that the pool of qualified people is increased, since it concerns harmonisation of the way we test which competences. Gesine Meissner, MEP for the FDP, was our guest speaker and she stressed how difficult it was to reach a political compromise. Some countries did not want to participate at all, other countries found it difficult to fit it into the national school systems, etc .. After a few questions we concluded that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, whether it is workable and whether it delivers what we intended, namely a larger pool of qualified people working in our sector.

In addition to this important topic, the president also referred to the research together with the European employee organisation (ETF), the so-called TASCS-study. This study looks at the crew requirements, what fits with the current time and what a system should look like? The aim is to develop  a Add Newsystem flexible enough to adapt at current times and can adapt to upcoming developments such as semi-autonomous sailing.

Warning for disappearing berthing sites
Serious bottlenecks have also been identified in relation to the safeguarding of human capital. For example, the various minimum wage laws that have been implemented in Germany and France. This is causing a lot of red tape, while wages for the nautical staff are fair at the moment. The Working Time Directive is also very cumbersome. But the biggest pain at the moment is the fact that the shore infrastructure along the Rhine is deteriorating. Local communities (f.e. Colon) have no idea how inland shipping works and the importance of inland shipping for the ins and outs of their economy. Inland shipping can simply not operate without good berths and car drop-offs. There is a huge challenge to reverse this trend. Here the European IWT platform will work very closely together with the German member organisations (BDB and BDS). Because inland shipping is all about people, but then people have to be able to work and live on board.
Van Lancker concluded his speach with: “Every one of us can make a difference, but together we bring about change!”. Only joint efforts can make things move.

IWT Market Insight winter 2017/2018

“Water conditions very important for IWT to benefit from economic growth.”                     

CCNR Strasbourg, February 15, 2018 – During the first semester of 2017, the pace of economic growth in Europe surpassed expectations, propelled by resilient private consumption. The intra-EU-trade actually increased by 2.2% from the first semester of 2016 to the first semester of 2017. Several economic sectors benefited from these positive economic conditions such as the steel industry and the construction sector.

The European inland navigation transport performance was not able to benefit from this economic growth during the first quarter of 2017 due to the environmental conditions. Low water levels on the Rhine and on the Danube, particularly in January 2017, together with ice periods on the Danube, reduced freight transport performance in these two river basins. With better water conditions during the second quarter of 2017, transport performance on the Traditional Rhine increased by 11% between the first and the second quarter of 2017.

Inland navigation activity returned to 2016 levels, and transport performance on the Rhine even increased by 2% during this second quarter of 2017 compared to 2016. This recovery is a general evolution that has been observed both on the Danube and on the Rhine and on all its tributaries. Further details on the evolution by country, by inland ports and by market segment are available in the Winter Market Insight 2017/2018.

Coal transport will decrease
Furthermore, a focus on coal transport is provided in the quarterly report. The energy sector and the
steel industry are the two essential drivers for coal transport via inland shipping in Europe, and as the
share of imported coal increases, inland navigation is increasingly needed for the transport of coal from major sea ports to the hinterland. Nevertheless, coal consumption — especially in the energy sector — is currently decreasing in favour of renewable alternatives, and it is also foreseen that coal transport will decrease. This decrease is expected to be compensated by the growth of other market segments in 2018 and in particular by the transport of agricultural products, building materials and containers.

Poland signs Geneva convention ship’s dimensions

On 5 January 2018, the Convention on the Measurement of Inland Waterways Vessels drawn up in Geneva in 1966 was published in the Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland.

The Convention ratified by the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda leads to the adoption by Poland of newer, more detailed and adequate standards for measurements of inland waterway vessels that are adequate to contemporary conditions. This will allow equating the statute of Polish vessels by recognizing their measurement certificates with similar documents issued by the States Parties to the newer Convention.

The unification of the method of measuring ships within the states of the parties to the Convention allows for a reliable approach to inland waterway vessels. Their dimensions are taken into account, which translates into the standardization of technical parameters of inland waterways – including clearances under bridges, as well as the unification of rolling stock, which facilitates the free flow of workers in inland navigation.

The convention is available at this address:

European IWT Platform established

The formal establishment of the European IWT platform is a fact.

Brussels, January 1, 2018. EBU and ESO are proud to announce the establishment of the European IWT platform. This platform is a vehicle to strengthen the international organisations representing inland waterway transport at European level.
This platform will be able to increase the potential of the sector in the earlier mentioned fields and in the specific areas vis à vis the European and international institutions. The increased expertise is also to be considered as a catalyst to elaborate effective strategies in the key areas of the future, such as “Greening and Innovation” and “Social and Education. EBU and ESO see this a major milestone in the further professionalisation of the IWT lobby at European level.

The platform is a cooperation of the two European associations representing IWT in which they aim to bring in their expertise in all relevant aspects and support European and international decision makers in the various fields. The platform will be based in Brussels, close to the heart of European IWT policy making.

Read moreEuropean IWT Platform established

IWT market – Fall 2017

Fall 2017 – CCNR publishes its market insight                                                                

The new quarterly report on European inland navigation, written by the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) in partnership with the European Commission, has just been published.
The Fall 2017 Market Insight provides a raft of information on the situation in which inland navigation finds itself at the beginning of 2017.
The market observation and market insight are respectively annual and quarterly publications by the CCNR dealing with the European inland navigation market.

Executive summary
A few elements confirm the improving economic conditions in Europe: exports keep rising, EU industrial production increased by 1.9% in Q1 2017 compared to Q1 2016, and building sector activity is
progressing in most of the inland waterway transport (IWT) countries in Europe. Nevertheless, the IWT
volumes decreased during the first quarter of 2017.
Although the situation had recovered compared to the end of 2016, the total transport performance on the Traditional Rhine decreased by 12% in Q1 2017 compared to Q1 2016, and on the Danube the reduction was 22%. This can mainly be explained by low water conditions at the beginning of 2017, and by ice periods that strongly affected Danube navigation at the beginning of the year. However, the evolution is not homogenous all over Europe.
In particular, inland navigation goods transport increased in Belgium at the beginning of 2017, and this increase was strongly supported by container transport that continued its strong upward trend in Belgium, with an increase of almost 20%.

Full report (EN-NL-DE-FR) can be viewed directly at

IWT and ports present vision towards 2030

Inland waterway transport and ports ask Europe for an ambitious policy action plan and continuity in funding                                                                                                                                        (full text here)

Today, a coalition of inland waterway transport (IWT) and ports has handed over a declaration with its vision towards 2030 to Wim van de Camp, member of the European Parliament, and Violeta Bulc, the EU Transport Commissioner. The handing over of the declaration took place during a high-level IWT and Ports event, hosted by the Port Autonome de Strasbourg.

In a first reaction, MEP Wim van de Camp and Commissioner Violeta Bulc emphasised their support to back the sector and its initiatives to fully exploit its potentials and better integrate it into the multimodal transport chain.

The joint declaration of the coalition explains the common vision of the inland waterway transport and

Read moreIWT and ports present vision towards 2030

EP Recognision of Qualifications in IWT

European Social Partners welcome the Inland Waterway Transport Directive on recognition of professional qualifications
“Fair play and a level playing field are the core demands of the sector, and these can only be achieved through European legislation,” says Christiaan Van Lancker, President ESO.

Today, the Plenary of the European Parliament adopted the Commission’s proposal, thereby taking a significant step towards a European labour market for IWT professionals as well as harmonised working and living conditions in this international transport sector.
The European Barge Union (EBU), the European Skippers Organisation (ESO) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) express their satisfaction on the adoption of the Directive on recognition of professional qualifications for European Inland Waterways Transport (IWT).

(read full text here)

CESNI professional competencies in IWT

Standards for professional competencies accepted by working group                                    

Strasbourg CCNR – The European Committee for drawing up Standards in the field of Inland Navigation (CESNI) met in Strasbourg on Thursday 18 October 2017; for the last time the meeting was chaired by Mr. Max Nilles, the representative of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Taking part in the discussions were twelve Member States, as well as the Sava Commission, the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), and several organisations accredited with the CESNI. The Republic of Ukraine was officially recognised as an Observer State at this meeting.
At this last meeting of 2017, the Committee decided to grant the Republic of Ukraine Observer State
status. The Committee also confirmed the setting up of a temporary working group for electronic systems aboard inland navigation vessels.

This meeting was also the opportunity for honouring the Committee’s 2016-2017 Presidency, provided
by the Luxembourg representative, Mr. Max Nilles.
The 2018-2019 Presidency will be provided by Mrs. Lucia Luijten, represetative for the Netherlands.

Standards for professional qualifications
Concerning the standards for competencies, the working group on professional qualifications accepted the proposals of the corresponding non-permanent working group for CESNI standards.
Work on drawing up CESNI standards regarding the practical examinations for boatmaster, the radar
certificate, passenger navigation and LNG expert is still in progress. Initial drafts are to be submitted to the working group in November next.
Last September the criteria for the medical fitness of crew members were discussed in detail by the working group. As for the competencies’ standards, a final consideration within the working group and the draft which will be forwarded to the committee are anticipated for the November meeting.
The expert group for simulator standards, set up by CESNI, drafted a proposal for technical requirements and technical test procedures for vessel handling simulators, which the working group can examine in November this year.