Digital policy

River Information Services (RIS)
RIS streamline the information exchange between public and private parties to improve the safety, sustainability and efficiency in inland waterway transport. RIS are the waterway transport equivalent of ITS, SESAR, VTS, ERMTS.

Status of RIS
Since 2005, the EU RIS Directive provides a Europe-wide framework for the harmonised implementation of information services to support traffic and transport management in inland navigation, including interfaces to other modes of transport. Today, the implementation is not complete, mainly due to the lack of a clear legal basis for the international exchange of RIS-related data. The European Commission took over the development of important RIS services such as the European Hull database, the European RIS Reference Data Management System, the Inland ENC register and digital parts of the Inland ENC standard to ensure a reliable continuity of cross-border services. Meanwhile, we await the planned publication by the Commission of the implementing acts for the RIS specifications (ECDIS, Electronic Ship reporting, AIS and Notices to Skippers).

Status of implementation

Digitalisation for logistics
The primary objectives of digitalisation in inland waterway transport are safety and making inland waterway transport easy-to-use in multi-modal transport. Since 75% of inland waterway operations are cross-border,waterway managers aim to make River Information Services (RIS) available throughout transport corridors of the waterway network. The information services are provided to trusted parties and can be accessed and shared by waterway users and related logistics partners following harmonised access rules. RIS corridor services aim at single window support for route planning, voyage planning, traffic planning and reporting duties on a European scale, at present integrating the fragmented local systems and paving the way for full logistics integration.

RIS COMEX project


Policy recommendations

INE advocates the review of the 2005 Directive on River Information Services (RIS) as part of the EU Digital Transport package to make inland waterways easy-to-use and to enable digital integration with other modes of transport in logistics.  

This requires: 

1. EU-wide legal basis for cross-border data exchange of fairway, voyage, cargo & traffic information 
2. Proper management and maintenance of RIS systems and services
3. Close gaps of shore-based Inland AIS infrastructure
4. Introduction of carriage requirement for Inland AIS transponders on all main inland waterways
5. Seamless corridor management services
6. Links between RIS, eTools and other digital applications to ensure future compatibility
7. Education and training of all involved staff
8. EU support programmes to reserve adequate budgets for effective implementation and further development.





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CoRISMa enables multimodal transport planners to plan waterway transport timely and efficiently in transport and logistics operations with digital tools


07 Dec 2015

Sharing navigable depth measurements allows ships to navigate more efficiently in future and make maximum use of the navigable area provided by the waterway