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:
The waterway permit applies to vessels that:
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.
Day 2 to 7
Day 8 to 30
Day 31 to 90
Day 91 to 365
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 * 1.5166 + 6 * 0.5055 + 23 * 0.1685 + 50 * 0.0562)
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 €14.73 (incl. VAT) per meter.
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, 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.
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. 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 RIS@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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telephone ticket booth opening hours:
An employee will be ready to help you, and he or she will apply for your waterway permit digitally for you.
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:
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 craft not having a speed number: you have to tick the appropriate box so that VisuRIS generates a number for you.
Do I have to enter the vessel dimensions per meter or per centimeter?
The dimensions should be given in meters, to 2 decimal places.
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 RIS@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)
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.