Waterway permit

The waterway vignette has been replaced by a new, digital waterway permit. De Vlaamse Waterweg nv chose this new system to satisfy the demand of recreational sailors and water sports enthusiasts for a more flexible system, in which the waterways user is not obliged to choose between vignettes covering different periods (which often led to users paying for more days than they actually used our network of waterways). 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 new 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 and better for the vessels (no more stickers!).  

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 two instructional videos available below, the first shows how to create the account, the second describes purchasing the permit.


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 and the Scheldt-Rhine link).

Attention! Every vessel moored on the network is also required to have a valid waterway permit, even if it does not sail. 

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.

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 * 1.5000 + 6 * 0.5 + 23 * 0.1667 + 50 * 0.0556)
= €111.14

The rate for a one-year permit is €14.73 (incl. VAT) per meter.

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

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

As of 1 April 2020, every vessel, 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.

How to apply?

Online (rates "online puchase")


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. From 17:00 on Monday 22 June 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 ris@vlaamsewaterweg.be.

Telephone ticket booth opening hours: every day (including weekends) up to 12:00 and after 17:00.

An employee will be ready to help you, starting from 17:00 on Monday 22 June, 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. 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





















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.