Since 2015, the CESNI Committee has regularly updated and published the European Standard laying down Technical Requirements for Inland Navigation vessels (ES-TRIN). This standard lays down the uniform technical requirements necessary to ensure the safety of inland navigation vessels. It is available in four languages (German, English, French, Dutch) and brings together in a standardised way the requirements previously contained in directive 2006/87/EC and in the Rhine vessel inspection regulations. It contains provisions on inland navigation vessel construction and equipment, special provisions for certain categories of vessels such as passenger and container vessels, provisions on the model of inland navigation vessel certificate as well as instructions on how to apply the technical standard.
References to ES-TRIN are now included in the legal frameworks of the EU and the CCNR (respectively directive (EU) 2016/1629 and Rhine vessel inspection regulations). The Danube Commission also decided in 2017 to recommend the standard in its international instruments and the International Sava River Basin Commission intends to create a reference to the standard in its legal framework. In other words, ES-TRIN has been established, with great effort, as the centrepiece and baseline for the technical requirements for inland navigation vessels in Europe and has contributed to the reinforcement of governance at the European level.
As a reminder, a vessel operating on EU waterways or Rhine must carry either a Union inland navigation certificate or a Rhine vessel inspection certificate. Both certificates are issued by the competent national authorities (inspection bodies) and confirm the full compliance of the vessel with the technical requirements (in particular ES-TRIN). Once again, the objective of these technical requirements is to guarantee a high level of safety in inland navigation, thereby also protecting the environment and the people on board.