What's RIS ?


EU RIS Directive

The RIS framework directive (2005/44/EG - OJ L 255, 30.09.2005) came into force in the European Union on 20 October 2005. The deadline for transposing this directive into national law in the EU Member States was 20 October 2007.

The directive applies to all Class IV waterways or higher throughout the European Union and lays down binding rules for the authorities on the implementation of RIS services in accordance with agreed rules.

The framework directive aims to provide for:

  • the implementation of the RIS concept in a European framework. The directive is intended to prevent a hotchpotch of national laws and various RIS applications and encourage European equipment suppliers to offer hardware and software at a reasonable and affordable cost.
  • interoperable and compatible RIS applications at national and European level. This is intended to enable continuous, cross-border (digital) traffic without technical obstacles.
  • a harmonised exchange of data and communication at European level. The aim here is to facilitate the interoperability of the entire system.
  • the development of a minimum safety level for users and for hardware manufacturers and software producers.
  • technical guidelines for the planning, implementation and operational use of the services.




In implementation of the RIS directive (2007/414/EC), the so-called RIS guidelines came into force on 23 April 2007 (OJ L 105 of 23.4.2007). These describe a systematic procedure for drawing up new guidelines, including users groups who have to be consulted.

The EC-RIS guidelines apply for traffic and transport in inland navigation: the traffic of freight vessels, passenger vessels and pleasure boats. Guidelines take account of the activities undertaken by the relevant international organisations. They may be complemented by detailed guidelines and standards for applications in specific parts of the world.

The RIS directive has force of law. It was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 30 September 2005. The directive laid down a timetable that the national authorities have to follow for the implementation of the RIS directive. The directive also defines the scope of application and describes the minimum services that have to be provided.

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