20m barge regulations

Regulations – Boats longer than 20m

See also other information pages about Regulations and Licences applying generally. See here for regulations specific to hotel barges.

1. The Grande Plaisance permit

 GP Grande Plaisance Fluviale permit – for boats with no length restriction (over 20m).

Basically the sub-20m Eaux Interieures test, plus the candidate must be at least 18 years of age and have done a minimum of 9 hours practical training on a boat of at least 20 metres in length. The GP permit has replaced the former PP (peniche plaisance) licence that applied to boats over 15m.

2. TRIWV – EU Directive on Technical Requirements for Inland Waterways Vessels

See here for the MCA Maritime and Coastguard Agency introduction to the TRIWV. The European Union’s Directive 2006/87/EC establishes harmonised conditions for issuing technical certificates for inland waterway vessels. It is aimed at increasing the safety of passengers and freight transport by inland waterway in Europe. The new certificate, delivered in compliance with the common requirements, is valid for navigation on all European inland waterways, including the Rhine (where applicable). This Directive operates as from 1st January 2007 and requires listed member states to enact appropriate legislation as from 1st January 2009. France is included in the list, as is Belgium and Holland. It concerns itself with pleasure boats longer than 20m or whose volume is 100 cu.m or greater, measuring overall length x maximum breadth x hull depth below the waterline (i.e excluding any keel).

CINC – The Community Inland Navigation Certificate

Pleasure craft of this size built during or before 2008 can –

  • Fully comply and receive a CINC Community Inland Navigation Certificate, enabling them to use all EU waterways. See Zones following.
  • Partially comply, in that any shortcoming do not “constitute a manifest danger” also receiving a CINC but one that a Qualification precludes them from using the River Rhine (Zone R).

A CINC was envisaged as being required sometime before January 2019 but member states can alter this, as Belgium has done, bringing the date for inspection and certification forward to January 2011 for craft constructed before 1912 and to January 2014 for others. Other states may follow suit. This development has caused a certain amount of consternation in Belgium because the authorities have refused to certify non-Belgian registered vessels and UK (for example) certifying bodies (e.g Lloyds) have been slow to gain acceptance. This is changing and, so far, no serious difficulties in achieving at least Qualified CINC certification have been reported.

The TRIWV Zones

Community waterways are classified into four different navigable zones. Depending on the zone, reduced or additional technical requirements may be applied by the Member States. The Directive also allows a number of derogations from the common rules, if justified by local navigation conditions. Following subsequent agreements in 2008, the new certificate is also valid for navigation on the stretches of the Rhine and the Danube outside EU territory.

French TWIWV Zones

Zone 2 [effectively, tidal/coastal waters]

  • River Dordogne – Downstream from the stone bridge at Libourne
  • River Garonne and Gironde Estuary – Downstream from the Pont de Pierre stone bridge at Bordeaux
  • River Loire – Downstream from the Haudaudine bridge on the Madeleine arm and downstream from the Pirmil bridge on the Pirmil arm.
  • River Rhône – Downstream of the Trinquetaille bridge in Arles and beyond towards Marseille
  • River Seine – Downstream of the Jeanne-d’Arc bridge in Rouen

Zone 3

  • River Rhine (in France, Holland and Germany; Germany’s Zone 3 waterways also include the Elbe and the Danube). The Rhine is in a special zone by itself, Zone R.

Zone 4

  • All other French waterways

For details of all of the above TRIWV aspects, refer to the EU Legislative Website

The CCNR Certificate

This is noted in the EU TRIWV legislation. The CCNR is the Rhine Navigation Commission and vessels travelling the Rhine must be certified accordingly, possibly with a specific CCNR inspection and certificate issued by an authorised body, or through an equivalent (approved) standard, now including the TRIWV.

Other EU Legislation applying to Pleasure Boating

Michael Clark has produced an excellent and seemingly exhaustive series of tables of legislative citations with links to the original EU documents (foot of the page). These are divided into:

  1. Introduction/Context
  2. Craft
  3. Crew
  4. Environmental
  5. Equipment
  6. General
  7. Infrastructure
  8. Taxation

As we have noted elsewhere, in many instances the practical impact of this legislation on ordinary plaisanciers, travelling the lesser waterways is minimal to non-existent. Perhaps this will change, but like the situation with ATIS VHF, travelling more ‘commercial’ waterways, piloting boats bigger than 15m in length, having passengers or guests aboard, etc. does demand taking these matters seriously and rightly so. Owners of barge sized boats should consider joining the DBA, which is an active organisation providing advice and representing interests.