The new Rhine Navigation Personnel Regulation (RPN), which was adopted by the CCNR on 08 November 2022, will come into force on 01 April 2023.
In addition to the general provisions, the new regulation contains, on the one hand, the provisions on professional qualifications, medical fitness, training programmes, examinations or the minimum requirements and prerequisites for the obtaining of all qualifications. On the other hand, the manning regulations with the operating modes, rest periods and the tables for the minimum crew of the respective vessel categories.
In addition, you will find transitional provisions for the continued validity of documents issued under the previous regulations, as well as a total of eight annexes containing, models, exams, and the requirements for navigating stretches on the Rhine that have been designated as inland waterway stretches with specific risks.
The revision harmonises the Rhine regulations with Directive 2017/2397 on the recognition of professional qualifications in inland navigation and refers to ES-QIN 2019/1 in order to achieve high quality in education and training.
ES-QIN, to which Directive 2017/2397 also refers, is the “European Standard for Qualifications in Inland Navigation“, the basis for a modern and highly qualified inland navigation sector. Together with the competence-based approach, which is now included in the RPN, a harmonised legal framework is created on the Rhine and the other European waterways.
All Union documents are valid on the Rhine and vice versa.
In contrast to the provisions on qualifications, the manning regulations have essentially remained as they were in the previous RPN.
A newly included rule should be emphasised, which allows a derogation from the manning regulations under certain conditions for tests with technical innovations – keyword automation.
Until the future European manning regulation will be realised, the manning regulations of the RPN will remain the only international manning regulation in Europe.
Author: Andrea Beckschäfer