CESNI publishes open letter in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic


At the last CESNI meeting on 30 April 2020, the CESNI Members and Observer States, River Commissions and International Organisations, as well as approved non-governmental organisations expressed the urgent need to put in place a coordinated approach regarding measures to support the European inland navigation sector during the COVID-19 crisis.


In an open letter published today, the CESNI recommends that States do not impose penalties should the validity period of certificates, attestations and other inland waterway transport-related documents issued by national authorities be exceeded, provided that:

  • the said certificates, attestations and other documents were still valid on 15 March 2020 and
  • the safety and operational continuity of inland navigation and inland waterways are not endangered.


The Committee also invites the sector and inspection bodies to continue and/or resume vessel inspections and certification to the greatest extent possible.


The open letter builds on current deliberations on the effects of the crisis, while considering the measures already taken by national, EU and international authorities, as well as regulatory bodies ; and without prejudice to future adaptations of the relevant European and international legal frameworks, in particular by the European Union and the CCNR. This recommendation can therefore be seen as complementary to the draft regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down specific and temporary measures in view of COVID-19 outbreak and concerning the validity of certain certificates, licences and authorisations as well as the postponement of certain periodic checks and training in certain areas of transport legislation. It is addressed to the Members, Observer States, International Organisations, approved non-governmental organisations of the CESNI, as well as to the inland navigation sector and inspection bodies.


The letter can be consulted here.