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Brussels, 03 April 2008

River Information Services: Commission sends reasoned opinions to four Member States

The European Commission has today decided to send reasoned opinions to Belgium, the Czech Republic, Poland and the Slovak Republic for failure to transpose into national law the European rules for setting up harmonised river information services on inland waterways. Sending a reasoned opinion is the last step before possibly taking a matter to the Court of Justice.

The aim of the Directive in question[1] is to establish a common framework for river information services (RIS) in order to increase the safety, reliability and efficiency of inland waterway transport. RIS can thus improve the competitiveness of this cheap, economical and environmentally friendly transport mode.

The Directive defines the principles and requirements for data communication and RIS equipment as well as the minimum level of RIS services. It provides the outline for technical guidelines and specifications for notices to skippers, electronic chart display and information systems, vessel tracking and tracing systems and electronic ship reporting.

The Directive should have been fully transposed into national law by 20 October 2007.

[1] Directive 2005/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on harmonised river information services (RIS) on inland waterways in the Community (OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 152)

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