Further development of the ADN (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways)

At the end of August, the 35th session of the UNECE ADN Safety Committee took place in Geneva. It was important for the representatives of the IWT Platform to sensitize the Member States of the ADN to various new problems and to advance other well-known discussion topics. Decisions on important topics were not made. Longer lasting discussions took place on the following topics:

  1. Loading / unloading rates

Today, the checklist according to 8.6.3 ADN requires information about the loading / unloading rates. The volume throughput at the “beginning”, “middle” and “end” has to be documented in the list. In a presentation by IWT it was pointed out that in practice certain procedures are established without regulation in the ADN. In the following meetings proposals for a consistent approach will be developed.

  1. Working on board

The inland navigation sector strives for getting more freedom to carry out work on board in comparison to what is actually allowed – of course, without any risk to the life and limb of the crew. In the demarcation between “allowed” and “not allowed” the ATEX guideline should help to find a better distinction than today.

  1. Degassing to a landside acceptance station

For the first time, ADN 2019 contains rules for the delivery of vapors to landside accepting stations. Although a lot of expertise was invested into the elaboration of these new regulations, the implementation is technically not feasible. IWT experts are called upon to pinpoint the weaknesses. An informal working group will discuss further problems around degassing.

  1. Working Group Loading on top

It has already been discussed at past sessions of the ADN Safety Committee that in a market niche there is no legal basis in the regulatory framework for “loading on top”: according to the opinion of some contracting states, loading on top should not be allowed at all. Nevertheless, it is done in practice – and it is really necessary. This contradiction can and should be solved quickly by developing proposals for regulations that allow a risk-free loading on top.

  1. Explosion protection

With the ADN 2019, a new explosion protection concept came into force that brings numerous new regulations with it. The new concept touches and changes the content of many hundreds of pages of the ADN. The work has dragged on for months and years. According to IWT, that some regulations and transitional provisions are not well coordinated, the chairman, Henk Langenberg from the NL delegation, answered very well that a re-evaluation of the concept is required in the near future. But time is not ripe for that today.

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Launch of IWT

Since the launch of IWT platform on 21/1/2019, during which DG Move’s Director General gave an inspiring speech, the IWT platform did not sit still. Indeed, we had regular meetings with the policymakers in DG-MOVE discussing social, environmental, technological and other matters. We actively participated in meetings organised by ALICE and WATERBORNE, driving further research and innovation. And we made clear to the European Commission that we want to be at the forefront in the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF) ; a forum that aims to digitalise all B2B and B2A communication across the whole transportchain

At the same time we contributed (and still are) contributing to the organisation of the upcoming event under the Finnish Presidency to show innovation in our sector in the Port of Brussel on October 16 and are working on a joint IWT & ports sector narrative that soon will be published. Both initiatives are aiming at convincing the “newcomers” in the Commission and Parliament about the potential Inland Waterway shipping has. Outside “Brussels”, IWT took the stage on many different occasions and left those stages with a positive feedback in our backpockets..

That, and much more, happened since IWT’s launch, but although not fully operational before that time, a lot was done already during 2018. What was done, how it was done and by whom and what we aim for in 2019 and beyond can be read in this report.

Last but not least we created this website. Though it is still work in progress, it is time  “ go live “ . When surfing you will be able to discover IWT’s origin and structure, its objectives, its team and a lot more. It’s the ambition to report through the website about the work done by the respective Committees and to inform relevant stakeholders about what IWT considers as important matters