Germany accepts the amendment to the CDNI

On 9 February 2021, Germany accepted the amendment to the Convention on the collection, deposit and reception of waste produced during navigation on the Rhine and other inland waterways (CDNI). Germany has followed the steps of Luxembourg and the Netherlands and became the third Contracting State to deposit its instrument of acceptance.

The amendment is important because it introduces a gradual prohibition of degassing in the scope of application of the CDNI. It is going to prevent harmful gaseous cargo residues (vapours) being released into the atmosphere.

In a nutshell – it is a crucial step towards better air protection.
One impressive indicator to remember is an earlier impact study estimating that this amendment will enable 95% (!) of harmful degassing into the atmosphere to be avoided! What is meant is naturally the avoidance within the geographical scope of the convention. This is a considerable improvement both for the environment and for the sustainability of waterborne freight transport.

In principle, the CDNI concerns water protection, but an amendment to the Convention has extended its scope of application to also include the release of vapours. A prohibition referred to in an associated scope of application can only be made effective by internationally harmonized regulations – unfortunately, using only local bans on degassing is not sufficiently effective. As a result, in 2017 the Contracting Parties Conference (CPC) adopted a resolution amending the CDNI and its implementing regulation.

What happens next? – ratification status
As mentioned earlier, Germany is – after Luxembourg and the Netherlands – the third Contracting State to deposit its instrument of acceptance. The ratification procedure is still in progress in the three other Contracting States – Belgium, France and Switzerland.

The amendment will come into force six months after the last instrument of acceptance has been deposited. Hopefully, that will happen very soon!

Frank Reijerse

26 February 2021