Inland navigation: non-resident carriers

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Inland navigation: non-resident carriers

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Inland navigation: non-resident carriers


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Waterborne transport

Inland navigation: non-resident carriers

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EEC) No 3921/91 of 16 December 1991, laying down the conditions under which non-resident carriers may transport goods or passengers by inland waterway within a Member State [Official Journal L 373 of 31.12.1991]


Since 1 January 1993, carriers of goods or passengers by inland waterway may transport goods or passengers by inland waterway for hire or reward in a Member State in which they are not established (“cabotage”).

Carriers may temporarily carry out cabotage services in the Member State in question without having to set up a registered office or other establishment, provided that they comply with the legislation of the Member State in which they are established, and on condition that they are authorized to transport goods or persons internationally by inland waterway.

The Regulation also stipulates that in providing cabotage services, carriers may only use vessels belonging to one of the following:

  • natural persons domiciled in a Member State and nationals of a Member State;
  • legal persons with their registered office in a Member State and in which Member State nationals hold a controlling interest.

Provided that they consult the Commission, Member States may, in exceptional cases, waive this last condition.

Carriers will require a certificate, to be issued by the Member State in which the vessel is registered or by the Member State in which the owner of the vessel is established, asserting that they satisfy the above conditions.

In certain fields that are specified in the Regulation, cabotage operations are required to observe the laws and regulations of the host Member State, subject to the application of Community rules.

Up to 1 January 1995, two-trip cabotage operations in the French Republic and one-trip cabotage operations in the Federal Republic of Germany have been restricted to the direct homeward route following the international carriage of goods or passengers. In Germany, this regulation will not apply to transport between ports situated within the new Länder and Berlin until 1 January 1995.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 3921/91 05.01.1992 OJ L 373 of 31.12.1991

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