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SWP5.2 | Administrative and technical support for RIS


The RIS Directive 2005/44/EC establishes the framework for harmonised implementation of River Information Services in Europe. Under the RIS Directive the European Commission is assisted by the RIS Committee, which in turn is assisted by a number of RIS Expert Groups in preparing and updating technical guidelines and specifications for Inland ECDIS, electronic ship reporting (ERI – Electronic Reporting International), Notices to Skippers (NtS) and vessel tracking and tracing (Inland AIS). The deployment of RIS across Europe is an ongoing process which is co-financed by e.g. the TEN-T Programme.


PLATINA will facilitate the further European harmonisation, standardisation and implementation of River Information Services (RIS) by

  • safeguarding the implementation of the RIS Directive and maintenance of standards,
  • increasing efficiency and effectiveness of the RIS Expert Groups’ work,
  • streamlining data management procedures within and between RIS Expert Groups and
  • increasing user-friendliness through the creation of a single access point to RIS-related information.

Description of work

PLATINA provides support for the implementation of harmonised and interoperable RIS in Europe in the fields of Fairway Information Services (harmonisation work is needed concerning availability, pricing and distribution of navigational charts), Traffic Management (an up-to-date overview of required equipment on board to access all RIS services), promotion of existing and ongoing harmonisation work from ongoing and future TEN-T projects such as IRIS Europe.

PLATINA provides for the implementation of a support structure (secretariat) improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the existing RIS expert groups. In order to establish such a support structure, its organisational framework needs are defined in cooperation with the European Commission, the chairpersons of the Expert Groups and the RIS Committee. The outcome of this process is a description of the terms of reference for the tasks of the support structure and of the budget plans for the RIS Expert Groups. The terms of reference specify each party’s mandate and reciprocal responsibilities. They are approved by the European Commission and the chairpersons of the RIS Expert Groups.

RIS reference data need to be consolidated and maintained on a structural basis, in order to avoid the use of different data versions throughout Europe. This activity entails the set up of a server and permanent maintenance of the reference data. Moreover the RIS Index is uploaded that is provided by the national authorities to the RIS community portal. Additionally technical requirements and the specification for the set up and operation of the Inland ENC register are prepared. A concept for the maintenance of the reference data management system after PLATINA are developed.

A RIS community portal needs to be set up to allow for the creation of a single access point to RIS resources in Europe utilizing mainly the well established websites of www.RISexpertgroups.org and www.openecdis.org. A technical web-based infrastructure is created to facilitate the exchange of information between the RIS Committee, RIS Expert Groups, the industry and end users.

Achievements January-May 2011

PLATINA further facilitates the European harmonisation, standardisation and implementation of River Information Services (RIS) through supporting the maintenance of standards, by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the RIS Expert Groups’ work, and by streamlining data management procedures within and between RIS Expert Groups. A RIS reference management data system (ERMDS) is in the process of being constructed until June 2011. In December 2010, PLATINA prepared an update of the RIS Index Encoding Guide, as an input to the work of the national administrations.

PLATINA has started to prepare quantitative indicators for RIS implementation in the various European countries. 15 countries responded to a survey, of which the results were presented during the RIS Committee Meeting on 1.3.2011. A new version of the RIS Portal (www.ris.eu) was initiated in order to facilitate a better interaction of the different stakeholders, tailor made services to the Expert Groups and to allow publication of RIS services, like centralized ENC distribution. The new web-portal was launched in May 2011.

Sub-Work Package leader biography

Roeland van Bockel (1957, Rotterdam) is a trained lawyer. He has over 25 years of experience in developing and executing public private partnerships, mostly employed by the Netherlands public service. Experiences: Defense, international trade, foreign direct investment, military offsets, urban development, transport and supply chain security).



3 questions to Roeland van Bockel

  • What do you like about your work?
    Borderless co-operation
  • If you could have a wish for inland navigation, what would it be?
    To be compatible, interconnected and powerfull in the supply chain
  • What does PLATINA do for you?
    Provide a platform to promote sustainable distribution