InCom WG 125/I: Guidelines and Recommendations for River Information Services (2019)

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Press release

The PIANC RIS Guidelines describe the principles and general requirements for River Information Services and provide recommendations and considerations for planning and implementing RIS and related systems. It has become more and more clear that operation of River Information Services requires international cooperation from the initial planning phase of RIS services and systems. Only by engaging in coordination as early as possible can harmonised and effective information services on an international network or corridor level be guaranteed. Internationally applicable guidelines on planning and implementation of River Information Services are needed to guarantee the harmonised operation and use of these services and systems.  

Developments in RIS are tending toward information services on a transport corridor level or waterway network level that supports inland navigation as an important transport mode in the international logistic chain. It is foreseen that RIS will support more logistic services in the multimodal transport domain; this development is reflected in the RIS guidelines 2019 as one of the upcoming developments.  

The RIS Guidelines are equally applicable to traffic and transport on inland waterways by maritime and inland cargo vessels, passenger vessels, working vessels and pleasure craft. Multimodality and multimodal information services are becoming more and more a requirement in the RIS domain. For this reason, the PIANC RIS guidelines 2019 have taken the first steps to find as much synergy as possible with developments in the maritime world, in particular e-Navigation.

An important aspect of the implementation of RIS is that national and local authorities have the responsibility for issuing regulations on how to implement and use the systems. Issues of relevance in this area are rules and regulations regarding the protection and confidentiality of personal and commercial sensitive information and creating awareness and taking measures related to cyber risk management. Where there is cross-border data exchange, it is recognised that regulations should be issued to ensure that safe and secure data exchange is enabled. Privacy aspects are becoming more and more an important issue in the exchange of RIS related data.  

The rapid development of information and communication technology will pave the way for new applications used in inland navigation and will make these RIS Guidelines a “living” document. For this reason a special chapter in the PIANC RIS Guidelines 2019 is devoted to upcoming and future development in or related to the RIS domain. This chapter can guide those who are responsible for the planning and implementation of RIS in their organisation towards sustainable RIS services, systems and application.

Below is a summary of the most significant updates in the RIS Guidelines 2019:

  • Where possible the Guidelines have been converted from European-oriented guidelines into guidelines applicable worldwide.

  • The conditions and consequences of the planning and the first steps towards the implementation of RIS enabled Corridor Management are included.

  • Lessons learned from PIANC report "e-Navigation for Inland Waterways 2017" were incorporated with respect to synergy of e-Navigation with RIS and the possible strengthening of RIS through alignment with e-Navigation.

  • A high-level vision on developments that will likely affect RIS in the future.  

Note: PIANC Permanent Working Group 125 presented a draft version of the PIANC RIS Guidelines 2019 to the UN ECE working party on the Standardisation of Technical and Safety Requirements in Inland Navigation of the Inland Transport Committee, and to the RIS working group of the CCNR. The input and comments of these organisations are taken in account in this final published version.   


  • Written by: InCom Permanent WG 125
  • Published: August 09, 2019