Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

Inland waterways in Belgium become more efficient

Creation date: April 27, 2011

The European Union will co-finance a project to implement River Information Services (RIS) applications within the Belgian region of Flanders. EU support will be devoted to the development and installation of RIS applications and infrastructure in waterways and in ports of Antwerp and Gent. Once completed, the project will allow for faster and safer transit through the Flemish inland waterway network and contribute to render this transport mode more competitive.


The “Implementation of River Information Services (RIS) in Flanders II” project will be funded by the EU from the TEN-T programme to the tune of €0.59 million. Its main overarching objective is to render inland waterway navigation in the Belgian region of Flanders more competitive, efficient and safe for both freight as well as passengers.


River Information Services are customised information services for inland waterway transport that make it possible to co-ordinate logistical processes with actual transport situations on a constant basis. RIS play a key role in making cargo transport and passenger services on waterways more efficient and ecologically sound while, at the same time, increasing traffic safety. RIS Services are defined by a European Framework Directive and need to be implemented by the Member States in a harmonised way.


Some basic RIS services are already available in Flanders, while others, like Inland Electronic Navigation Charts, Notices to Skippers and Automatic Identification System shore infrastructure are about to be installed. However, some crucial elements necessary to benefit from the full effect of RIS are still missing. This, coupled with an ever growing demand from the logistics sector to be able to use and exchange RIS information, reinforces the importance of this project to fluvial mobility in the region.


The Inland waterway sector will be rendered more competitive as a means of goods and passenger transport.


For more information, please consult the project's page!



Read the press release in French - .pdf (15.4 KB)

Read the press release in Dutch - .pdf (12.5 KB)

Read the press release in German - .pdf (15.5 KB)