European Committee for Standards in Inland Navigation (CESNI) - Reports of Activities

The Confederation of European Maritime Technology Societies has Non Government  Organization (NGO) status with the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) and is represented on the European Committee for Standards in Inland Navigation (CESNI) by ATENA.  

Recent inland navigation meetings  (Nov 2022)

Mr. Dino Telesca, ATENA Inland Navigation Group Chairman reported that the following meetings of the Inland Navigation Working Parties of UNECE and CESNI (EU + CCNR), were held:

UNECE Working Party (Geneva): 12-14 October and 29 June – 1st July  (both hybrid meetings)

CESNI  Working Group (Strasbourg): 28-29 June + 28 September (both in presence)

ATENA, on behalf of the CEMT, participated in the online meetings of UNECE Working Party, but not in those of CESNI, which have resumed being in presence. The main topics discussed during these meetings were:

Digitalization of waterways network, alternative fuels, electric propulsion, main engines type allowed

Mutual recognition of boatmasters’ certificates, passengers vessels technical requirements.

Report of Inland Navigation meetings  (Apr 2022)

At the last meeting of the CEMT Council, Mr D Telesca (ATENA) gave the following report on matters discussed at recent meetings of the  Working Party (UNECE) and of the CESNI (EU + CCNR): 

Despite the pandemic, the meetings, both of the Working Party (UNECE) and of the CESNI (EU + CCNR), were regularly held online.  These meetings have been regularly attended by ATENA, representing CEMT.

In both forums the constructive role of CEMT is now unanimously recognized and this in itself is a good result.

From a technical point of view, however, many problems remain on the table to be solved and many "political" resistances to be overcome, for their solution:

  • the long-standing issue of the requirements dedicated to modest-sized passenger ships (<24 m and 150 pax)
  • the technical requirements for the so-called "special floats", which are all units with lifting equipment on board
  • the homogenization of the "derogations" applied by the various Countries, in order to obtain an effective single European Rule

Before moving on to the proposals for future actions, some considerations are necessary:

  • the fundamental role in the elaboration and updating of the requirements is carried out by the CESNI working group of Strasbourg. The UNECE Working Party in Geneva, in which the representation of Eastern European Countries is very strong, tends to adapt to the decisions of CESNI
  • the lack of a technically prepared structure on these issues leads the EU to completely delegate decision-making power to CESNI
  • the EU Directive 2016/1629 (formerly 2006/87 / EC), strongly penalizes small sized vessels (passenger, cargo, work…), since it contains requirements suitable only for large ships

The following actions on the points mentioned above were proposed by ATENA, on behalf of CEMT:

  • re-propose the special requirements, already presented at the time, trying to broaden the audience of favorable delegations, in addition to those of Romania, Croatia and, albeit partially, France, Holland and EBU (powerful Association of large European shipping companies)
  • develop a list of technical proposals, which can guarantee a level of safety equivalent to that of the Directive, dedicated to small "special floats" (<20 m)
  • to bring together the group of "experts" on the Directive in question, in the EU in Brussels (ATENA is a member, representing CEMT)

Meeting of CESNI Working Group for Passenger Vessels  (Oct 2021)

CEMT was represented at the recent meeting of the CESNI Working Group for Passenger Vessels by Mr D Telesca (ATENA).  The following matters were considered:

  • Minimum number of cabin/seats for persons with reduced mobility
  • Exits normally used for embarking and disembarking
  • Vessels that do not have any free space on the deck or with superstructure enclosed or built as an extension of the hull walls
  • Corridors, connecting corridors and passageway
  • Materials complying with the equivalent regulations of one of the Member States, instead of the FTP code
  • Size of communal living quarters
  • Residual safety clearance and residual freeboard

Mr Telesca observed that, despite the achievements of the Working Group, shipyards and ship designers still had some concerns regarding rules and regulation for small passenger vessels .  There was a view that they might negatively influence the orders for new passenger vessels and indirectly encourage possible frauds. He is still convinced that supplementary amendments of ES-TRIN are opportune and that the Working Group CESNI/PT might come back on this issue. There also remained concerns regarding the fragmentation of the national rules adopted in accordance with Article 24(2) of the Directive (derogations for limited journeys of local interest or in harbour areas).

It was noted by the meeting that proposals submitted earlier had been considered, and were addressed by several approved amendments.  The wish of CEMT that the specificities of small passenger vessels are well considered is agreed,  and that any issues overlooked could be considered in the future.  A bilateral discussion with CEMT with a view to submitting further proposals was proposed.

Further information about the CESNI Working Group for Passenger Vessels may be found at  

Meeting of CESNI Technical Requirements Working Group (Sep 2021)

CEMT will be represented  at the next meeting of the Technical Requirements Working Group of the European Committee for Drawing up Standards in Inland Navigation (CESNI) in Sep 2021. 

The meeting will consider changes to the European Standard laying down Technical Requirements for Inland Navigation vessels (ES-TRIN). The Standard may be viewed at 

Message from CCNR (July 2021)

The following message was received by Mr D Telesca, CEMT representative on the CCNR:

Dear Mr Telesca,

I would like to thank you warmly for your valuable input regarding the draft roadmap on the reduction of emission in inland navigation which the CCNR is currently developing in view of largely eliminating the emissions from inland navigation in 2050.  

Indeed, following the first round of consultation at the beginning of 2021, it appeared essential for the CCNR to consult the approved and international organisations a second time in order to collect feedback on the second revised draft roadmap taking into account the final results of the study ( ). This second consultation was very successful, with more than 10 contributions received relating to all aspects of the roadmap (technologies used, approach retained, scope etc.).

Building on the comments received, the draft roadmap will be revised for the 3rd time. This third revision will be set for adoption in December 2021 by the CCNR, on the occasion of its Autumn Plenary session.

Let me say once more how grateful the CCNR is to your organization who provided their views and ideas on improving this draft roadmap. The energy transition requiring the involvement of all concerned actors, such cooperation is indeed essential to develop a shared vision of the energy transition within our sector while also generating support and acceptance for the related policy measures.  

I also would like to take this opportunity to wish you a nice summer and hopefully a break !

 With my kind regards,

Ingénieur en Chef – Chefingenieur – Hoofdingenieur – Chief Engineer
Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR)

CCNR roadmap for reducing inland navigation emissions, as envisaged by the Mannheim Declaration (Click  here)

Comment by CEMT on 2nd draft of the CCNR Roadmap (July 2021)  (Click here)

Update from CESNI Inland Navigation Meetings (Nov 2020)

European Directive EC 2016/1629  lays  down the technical requirements for inland waterways vessels.  Concern has been expressed that the Directive was based in full on the regulations applicable to the Rhine which were designed for large cargo and cruise ships, and are not appropriate for small vessels.  

Following representations from many countries on the inapplicability of the Directive to all inland water way vessels, the CESNI Commission in Strasbourg instituted a number of meetings, resulting in the acknowledgment in 2018 by the various delegations of the need to update some requirements of the Directive, in particular those of small passenger ships (under 24 m and with a capacity of less than 150 pax). Full update on CESNI Inland Navigation Meetings 

  •  “Turning moment” – specification of the conditions of full-scale tests, model tests or calculations), as given in CESNI/PT/Pax (20)m 23

In response to the inquiry put forward by the Secretariat on the matter of evaluation the need of an ESI to specify further the conditions of full-scale tests, model tests or calculations, Sea Europe, CEMT and Croatia Register of Shipping provide the following recommendations, based on ITTC recommended procedures and guidelines1:  Recommendations by  Sea Europe, CEMT and Croatia Register of Shipping