On 23 March 2016 the Council confirmed an informal agreement reached with the European Parliament on the revision of the directive concerning technical requirements for inland waterway vessels.
The draft directive sets out a procedure for the application of uniform standards for inland navigation across Europe. The standards will be developed by the European Committee for drawing up standards in the field of inland navigation (CESNI), which was set up under the auspices of the Central Commission for Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) on 3 June 2015.
The first standard adopted by CESNI will be incorporated into EU law by the revised directive. This will harmonise the technical requirements for inland waterway vessels applicable in the EU and on the river Rhine.
The new directive will also speed up the procedure for updating requirements, as updates will simply require a Commission delegated act.
The new rules are therefore expected to improve legal certainty and reduce administrative burdens for the inland navigation sector.
The directive will enter into force twenty days after its publication in the EU Official Journal. Member states will then have two years to transpose it, i.e. adopt national provisions to comply with it.
Once the agreed text has undergone legal-linguistic finalisation, it needs to be formally approved by the Council and the Parliament. The procedure is expected to be concluded in the next few months.