Electronic Reporting

In this section you can order BICS software, which you need for electronic reporting. Also you can read where and when it is mandatory to report electronically and see an overview of the benefits of electronic reporting.




Electronic reporting software (BICS)

The program that is installed on board so that you can electronically report your cargo and voyage data is the inland shipping information and communication system called BICS (Barge Information and Communication System). BICS is a broad package of nautical software programs for various types of data exchange for inland shipping. BICS makes this exchange of information faster, more reliable and strictly confidential. No sensitive private or business information needs to be exchanged via open links; the VHF radio channels will soon return to being used for what they were intended. The BICS software is completely free and is provided by the Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Ministry of Transport and Water Management).

You can order via:

Objective of electronic reporting

The objective of the electronic reporting standard for inland shipping navigation is:

  • To facilitate Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between parties in inland shipping and parties in intermodal transportation which are involved in inland shipping
  • To avoid having to report voyage data more than once to the various authorities and/or commercial parties
  • To provide rules and standards for the exchange of electronic messages between parties in inland shipping. Public authorities and other stakeholders (ship owners, skippers, charterers, terminals, ports) must ensure that their data complies with these data exchange standards and rules.

Where can I report electronically?

Country Operational
Flanders yes
Wallonia no
Austria no, only in pilot
Croatia no, only in pilot
Czech Republic no
Hungary no, only in pilot
Netherlands yes
Romania yes
Slovakia no, only in pilot
Switzerland yes

Mandatory electronic reporting

From 1 January 2010, ships carrying containers on the Rhine are obliged to report electronically to the traffic post in the area where they are to sail. At the same time this obligation also applies to the Dutch inland waterways covered by the BPR (Inland Shipping Police Regulations). The obligation to report electronically applies to masters of vessels and convoys with more than 20 containers on board, and also to ships transporting containers of dangerous substances, irrespective of the number of containers. Data that should be reported include the vessel name, position and course, size, and information on the cargo.

  • Flyer about mandatory electronic reporting: only available in Dutch, French and German


Single notification in Flanders

Soon the single notification for the Flemish waterways will become a fact. This means 1 sailing permit and 1 payment for the shipping rights. The shipping rights are paid according to the actual distance of the journey and no longer based on the previous main points. Payments can be made in cash or with Bancontact at the main reception offices. There is also the option of sailing with a (monthly) invoice.

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