To purchase a waterway permit click here (for this you need to sign in with your VisuRIS account).

In order to sail on the Flemish navigable waterways, certain vessels need a waterway permit.

You can apply for a waterway permit covering a single day, a few days or months, or a full year. This leaves you free to choose the day your waterway permit’s validity starts and the period it covers. This flexibility is not only a major advantage for the people with boats on trailers, this also offers greater freedom to 
foreigners and other visitors when planning a sailing holiday on the Flemish waterways. 

The waterway permit is a digital permit. After all, De Vlaamse Waterweg nv is continuing to strive for 'paperless sailing'. This is not only good for the environment; it is also more efficient.  

To promote sailing, we decided to require a valid waterway permit regardless of whether the vessel is moored (e.g. in a marina or at a berth along the waterway) or sailing. 

There are three instructional videos available below:

  • How to create a VisuRIS account?
  • How to apply for a waterways permit in VisuRIS?
  • How do you renew your waterways permit on VisuRIS?





For which vessels?

The waterway permit applies to vessels that: 

  • are suitable for the carriage of passengers but without pursuit of a profitable purpose (i.e. no passenger transport for remuneration);
  • exceed 6 meters and/or sail faster than 20 km per hour;
  • are sailing on or are moored on a berth, with or without permit or concession, on navigable waterways in the Flemish Region.
    (You do not need a waterway permit on the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal, the Bruges-Zeebrugge Canal, the Grensleie, the Common Meuse, the Lower Sea Scheldt, the Scheldt-Rhine link, in the Antwerp City harbor and in the coastal yacht harbors.)


  •  Every vessel moored on the network is also required to have a valid waterway permit, even if it does not sail. 
  • Information about the waterways permit for houseboats can be found on www.vlaamsewaterweg.be/woonboten.


How much does a waterway permit cost?

The amount you have to pay is calculated based on five daily rates. These daily rates depend on the method of purchase, i.e. over the counter or online.


Daily rate:

Day 1

Daily rate:

Day 2 to 7

Daily rate:

Day 8 to 30

Daily rate:

Day 31 to 90

Daily rate:

Day 91 to 365

Rates (€/m/day)







Rates (€/m/day)

Online purchase






The amount due is calculated in euro, based on the hull length of the vessel in metres (to 2 decimal points, i.e. down to centimetres), the number of days and the speed of the vessel. For a vessel that is capable of sailing faster than 20 km/h, a theoretical 6 meters is added to the hull length during permit application.

The hull length is the hull length stated on the registration letter of the vessel. If this is not known, the length over all (as referred to in the Royal Decree of 28 June 2019 on Pleasure Craft) should be used for the application for the waterway permit.

Example: 10.00 m vessel, 80-day permit, no fast shipping, online purchase:
10 * (1 * "daily rate 1 day" + 6 * "daily rate 2-7 days" + 23 * "daily rate 8-30 days" + 50 * "daily rate 31-90 days")

= 10,00*(1*1,7737+ 6*0,5912 + 23*0,1971 + 50*0,0657)

= €131,392

TIP: Purchasing long-term waterway permits results in a cheaper average daily rate. So, for example, a 365-day waterway permit is cheaper than 2 consecutive short-term waterway permits of 183 days each.

The rate for a one-year permit is €17.39 (incl. VAT) per meter.


When can I request my waterway permit and when is it compulsory?

You can apply digitally for your new digital waterway permit. You can set the start and end date of your permit’s validity yourself.

Every vessel that falls under the conditions as listed above under "for which vessels", sailing or moored on the network, must have a valid waterway permit. De Vlaamse Waterweg nv will check this on the waterways, in the marinas and during passage through movable bridges and locks.

If a vessel does not have the correct waterway license (no license, an expired license, incorrect length, no fast-sailing option, etc.), a forfeit fee will be charged that is equivalent to twice the regular cost of a permit for 365 days according to the hull length and speed of the vessel in question, subject to a minimum amount of EUR 250, plus the administration costs for collecting the lump sum payment itself. Payment of this forfeit fee exempts the owner from purchasing a waterway permit for 365 days.

Purchased waterway permits cannot be refunded or changed.


How to apply?

Online (rates "online puchase")


With the online application you can choose between payment with a payment card, a bank app or by bank transfer. The waterway permit is only valid after receipt of payment. So pay attention if you choose to pay by bank transfer, because the transaction can take several days, and is effected through the payment service Ingenico (Stichting Beheer Derdegelden Ingenico Financial Solutions). It is extremely important that the instructions on the payment application (in particular the account number and the reference that has to be stated) are followed closely. If not, the payment cannot be linked to the requested waterway permit and the waterway permit is not valid. The waterways license is only valid after receipt of the payment, even if the waterways license was requested for an earlier date.

Do you get stuck somewhere? Take a screenshot and e-mail it to scheepvaartrechten@vlaamsewaterweg.be. We will help you as soon as possible.

Telephone ticket booth ("booth" rate)

If you prefer, you can apply for and purchase your waterway permit through the ticket booth.

For the safety of our customers as well as our staff, De Vlaamse Waterweg nv has decided not to physically reopen the ticket booths for waterway permits. However, you can still count on our help. You can apply for your waterway permit by calling +32 (0) 11 27 99 03.

The telephone ticket booth is only accessible for actually purchasing your waterway permit. If you only want information or wish to report a problem, you can contact RIS via scheepvaartrechten@vlaamsewaterweg.be.

Telephone ticket booth opening hours:

  • Tuesday 9-12 am
  • Thursday 9-12 am

An employee will be ready to help you, and he or she will apply for your waterway permit digitally for you.


  • If you apply through the telephone ticket booth, the applicable prices for your waterway permit are higher than the rates for an online application (see the table above).
  • Due to administrative processing requirements, the start date of a waterway permit purchased from the telephone ticket booth can be at least 2 calendar days after the application by phone

In this case, the payment will have to be made by a bank transfer, after receipt of the request for payment by email. Please note that payment by bank transfer may take several days, and is made through the payment service Ingenico (Stichting Beheer Derdegelden Ingenico Financial Solutions). The waterway permit is only valid after receipt of payment, even if the waterway permit was applied for at an earlier date.

To make sure everything runs smoothly and to limit the waiting times for your fellow water recreationists, please keep the following information at hand when you call us

registratie visuris














Aanvraag waterwegenvergunning Engels





















Which Internet browser should I use to buy a waterway permit?

You should use a modern browser such as Google Chrome. Internet Explorer is no longer supported. 


Is it really necessary to fill in a correct e-mail address? 

It is absolutely necessary to fill in a correct e-mail address as this is the unique username of your personal VisuRIS account. This should not be a fictitious e-mail address because then you can not manage "My RIS" and "My Waterways Licenses".

Is it mandatory to fill in company data?

No, it is not mandatory. This step can be skipped. You only have to fill in these fields if the invoice has to be in the name of a company (and its VAT number).

Is it mandatory to register my vessel when creating a VisuRIS account? 

No, this is not mandatory. We recommend skipping this step and proceeding immediately to the purchase of the waterways permit. When purchasing the waterway permit, you can check the box that you are purchasing the waterway permit for your "own vessel". We will then link the vessel to your personal VisuRIS account.

Which registration numbers can I give for my vessel?

For vessels with a Belgian registration, the Belgian registration number needs to be entered.

For foreign registered vessels you have to enter the registration or speed number of the foreign country.

For Dutch vessels that do not have a speed number: when you have marked the Netherlands as registration country, the option appears that VisuRIS generates a unique number for your vessel.  


Do I have to enter the vessel dimensions per meter or per centimeter?

The dimensions should be given in meters, to 2 decimal places. 


What should I pay attention to when paying by bank transfer?

If you choose to pay by bank transfer, you will receive the request for payment by email. 

It is extremely important that the instructions on the payment request (particularly the account number and the reference that has to be stated) are followed closely. If not, the payment cannot be linked to the requested waterway permit and the waterway permit is not valid. 

Payment is made through the payment service Ingenico (Stichting Beheer Derdegelden Ingenico Financial Solutions), and may take a few days. (If you select the Dutch flag, payment will be made via ABN Amro Bank).

Only after receiving the payment, the waterway permit is valid, even if the waterway permit was requested for an earlier date.


From when is the purchase of my waterway permit registered? 

The waterway permit is registered/valid immediately after receipt of payment. So immediately after the (receipt of the) payment you can see in your personal VisuRIS account (at "My RIS" - "My waterway permit") that your waterway permit is "valid".


Where can I check if my waterway permit is valid and when it expires?

You can always check the status and the period of validity of your waterway permit on your "My RIS" page. To see this page at www.visuris.be you need to be logged in with your personal VisuRIS account. 


When and how will I receive my invoice?

The invoice will be sent to you by e-mail within 3 working days after receipt of payment.


Should I print the invoice and keep it on board?

There is a QR code on the invoice, which facilitates verification. We ask you to print the invoice and keep it on board. However, this is not an obligation. 


I am selling my vessel. What happens to the waterway permit I purchased for this vessel?

The waterway permit is linked to the vessel and not to the owner of the vessel and remains valid for the period for which it has already been paid. You should inform scheepvaartrechten@vlaamsewaterweg.be that you have sold your vessel. We can then disconnect your vessel from your account. The new owner can then register the vessel in his VisuRIS account as his vessel.


How can I purchase a new waterway permit or extend my current waterway permit?

If your vessel already has a waterway license (or has had one in the past), you can easily purchase a new license, which may or may not match the end date of the previous waterway license.

To do this, log in to VisuRIS and then click on "My RIS" and "My waterway permits". Click on the waterway permit of the vessel for which you wish to purchase or renew a new one and choose "New permit" under "More details". In this way, VisuRIS automatically fills in the data from the previous waterway permit for you. Don't forget to check all data again, and indicate the start and end date of the new waterway license.

The new waterway permit always starts in the tariff of day 1 (see prices above), even if the start date of the new permit is the same as the end date of the old permit.

(See the instruction video above)


Other questions?

Do you have any questions about the waterway permit or are you experiencing problems with the online application? If so, we will be happy to assist you.