Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

More river vessels to become “smart”

Creation date: July 15, 2011

Skippers navigating rivers and canals in the Netherlands and the Belgian region of Flanders will benefit from a subsidy to equip their ships and barges with Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) thanks to an EU co-funded project. €770,000 will be granted by the EU’s TEN-T budget with the objective of making river transport smarter and safer.


The project to equip vessels with AIS technology, which was presented under the 2010 TEN-T Multi-Annual Call, follows from an earlier activity which was implemented in the same geographical regions. The current project consists of an equipment subsidy programme aimed to encourage skippers to install on-board AIS transponders.


The AIS transponders will allow for real-time tracking and tracing of vessels according to the River Information Services (RIS) guidelines. Full deployment of Inland AIS transponders is a key step in implementing RIS, since the quality and success of many of its services depends critically on the availability of accurate, timely and complete position information of commercial vessels.


In the Netherlands, this project is expected to finance the equipment of 1,000 additional vessels in order to equip the rest of the shipping fleet on the Dutch waterways. 750 additional vessels will be equipped with AIS transponders in Flanders.


The subsidy is available to ships from any flag state, provided that they make demonstrable use of the Dutch and Flemish waterways.


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



Read the press release in Dutch - .pdf (15.1 KB)