On 5 February, the Flemish government gave its final approval for the introduction of the digital reporting obligation for vessels transporting dangerous goods. This means that as from 1 March 2021, inland shipping operators using Flemish waterways to transport dangerous goods must report their shipping route and freight details digitally to De Vlaamse Waterweg nv. A period of tolerance applies until 31 August 2021. During that period, there will be no enforcement of the digital reporting obligation. This means that every inland shipping operator will be given the required time to adjust to the new situation. Use this time to install digital reporting software on board, if this isn’t already in place.
From a safety point of view, it is essential that operators report to the government if ADN transport approaches the borders of the authority of the Flemish Region, or if they commence a voyage from a berth in the Flemish Region. This is because that information and the details about the nature and quantity, origin and destination of the dangerous goods and the route to be taken are important in the event of any emergencies on and adjacent to the waterway. If that information is available, this can then be requested by the emergency services. The authorised waterway manager can also take measures to ensure that the transport of dangerous goods takes place as safe as possible, in particular when the transport passes structures and when loading and unloading dangerous goods.
Every inland shipping operator of a vessel that transports dangerous goods through the inland waterways is obliged to report its details digitally.
The digital reporting obligation does not apply to the transport of dangerous goods:
The digital reporting obligation of vessels transporting dangerous goods will take effect on 1 March 2021.
Because of this rapid entry into force and to give everyone time to adapt to this digital reporting obligation, a tolerance period has been put in place.
This means that between 1 March 2021 and 31 August 2021, digital reporting is mandatory, but inland shipping operators will provisionally not be sanctioned in the event of violation. Operators will, however, be reminded to immediately carry out the mandatory reporting.
1. the time of entering and exiting the Flemish Region
2. the name of the vessel, and when in a convoy, the name of all ships in the convoy
3. the unique European Vessel Identification Number, the IMO number for seagoing vessels, and when in a convoy, the unique European Vessel Identification Number and the IMO number of all ships in the convoy
4. the type of vessel or convoy and, if in a convoy, the type of vessel for all ships (see the list below)
5. the carrying capacity of the vessel and, if in a convoy, the carrying capacity of all ships in the convoy
6. the length and the width of the vessel and, if in a convoy, the length and the width of the convoy and of all ships in the convoy
7. the following information about the dangerous goods
a) the UN numbers or the numbers of the dangerous goods
b) the class, the classification code and, if applicable, the packing group of the dangerous goods
c) the total quantities of the dangerous goods that the information relates to
d) the number of blue lights or blue cones;
8. the number of containers on board according to size and loaded condition, loaded or unloaded, in the respective area of containers in accordance with the stowage plan and the container type
9. the container number of the containers holding dangerous goods
10. the number of people on board
11. the draught
12. the location of departure or the loading point
13. the destination or the unloading point
14. the route, based on waypoints
If the foregoing information changes during the journey within the Flemish Region, the inland shipping operator must immediately inform De Vlaamse Waterweg nv of this change using the same method, i.e. through digital reporting.
If the vessel pauses its journey in the Flemish Region for more than two hours, the inland shipping operator will immediately inform De Vlaamse Waterweg nv of the start and end time of that pause using the same method (i.e. digitally).