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Inland navigation: conditions attached to chartering and pricing

This Directive aims to adapt the organisation of the turn-by-turnabout chartering systems to greater commercial flexibility in order to achieve a system of free transactions on 1 January 2000.


Council Directive 96/75/EC of 19 November 1996 on the systems of chartering and pricing in national and international inland waterway transport in the Community [Official Journal L 304 of 27.11.96]


The Directive states the principle whereby, in the national and international carriage of goods by inland waterway within the Community, contracts must be freely concluded between the parties concerned, and the prices negotiated freely, where appropriate within charter clearing houses.

However, it provides for a transitional period during which the scope of the turn-by-turnabout system will be gradually restricted, before the final emergence of a free transport chartering and pricing system. It thus stipulates, in particular, that, during the transitional period, the States must, inter alia, provide scope for shippers to enter into multiple-trip contracts. This means a series of successive trips carried out by one and the same vessel, or providing that single or multiple trips offered consecutively in multiples of two on the turn-and-turnabout basis without having found any taker leave the turn-and-turnabout system and are freely negotiated.

It also stipulates that, within the period of two years starting from the date of entry into force of the Directive, Member States shall take the measures needed to provide shippers with a free choice between three types of contract:

  • time-based contracts;
  • tonnage-based contracts;
  • contracts for single or multiple trips.

It will also, under an committee, confer powers upon the Commission to take appropriate measures if there is any serious disruption of the inland waterway transport market.


ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 96/75/EC30.11.961.1.97L 304 of 27.11.96

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1882/200319.10.03-L 284 of 31.10.03
Last updated: 24.01.2007
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