Frequently asked questions – FAQ
Question: What legal documents developed by the Danube Commission are of the utmost importance for the shipping management?
Answer: "General provisions on navigation on the Danube" and "Special recommendations on application of the General provisions on navigation on the Danube" are fundamental documents regulating issues concerning the Danube navigation and safety of navigation. The Danube Commission takes care to ensure that these papers are permanently kept up to date.
Question: What is the role assigned to the Danube Commission in the Belgrade Convention?
Answer: Based on the fundamental principal "provision of free navigation on the Danube with due consideration to the sovereign rights of the Danube countries, as well as strengthening the economic and cultural relations of the Danube countries among themselves and with other nations", the Danube Commission significantly contributes to the enhancing and strengthening the Danube cooperation and creation of conditions favorable for the development of the Danube navigation.
Question: Does cooperation between the Danube Commission and other European river commissions exist?
Answer: The Danube Commission considers navigation problems on the Danube in close interaction with other international river commissions. Close cooperation with the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine, which is based on the Agreement of 1976 and over the years has become more intense, could be mentioned as an example. This cooperation aims to harmonize major regulatory documents to be approved within both commissions and dedicated to the navigation on the Rhine and Danube: navigation rules, technical requirements for inland navigation vessels and rules for issuance of boatmaster's certificates.
The Danube Commission closely cooperates with the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine in the field of harmonization of maintenance of service records and creation of common register (database) for issued service records, as well as in the field of unification of system of education and training of specialists for the river fleet.
Generally, activity of the Danube Commission and Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine has accelerated process of harmonization and unification of rules and requirements for the navigation on the entire inland waterways network in Europe from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
The Danube Commission also cooperates with the International Sava River Basin Commission (Zagreb-based) and International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (Vienna-based).
Question: What are the rights and responsibilities of the Observer States to the Danube Commission?
Answer: In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Danube Commission the Observer States enjoy certain rights and responsibilities arising from their status, for instance, the right to get information from the Secretariat concerning the date, venue and preliminary agenda of the expert meetings and sessions of the Danube Commission and consult documents of the Danube Commission, which are of interest to them.
Observer States are invited to take part in work of the sessions, working groups and expert meetings of the Danube Commission and also have the opportunity to speak on issues of their interest. Observers' opinions on these issues are reflected in the report as well as opinions of delegates from the Member States. Observer States are also invited to take part in the DC's programmes and projects and voluntarily participate in other undertakings.
In the meantime, Observer States are obliged to recognize and respect provisions and principals of the Belgrade Convention and Supplementary Protocols to this Convention, provide upon requests relevant informational materials, in particular on statistics or law.
Observer States must respect the confidential nature of discussions held within the Danube Commission.
Observer States could be addressed with a request to make voluntary financial contribution in view of extra expenses or specific services occasioned by its engagement.
Question: What are the legal mechanisms used for the settlement of possible disputes between the Member States of the Danube Commission?
Answer: In case of difference of opinions between the Member States it should be settled by direct negotiations between relevant states or in the course of open discussion within the session of the Danube Commission.
In accordance with the article 45 of the Belgrade Convention: "Any dispute between the parties to this Convention regarding the application or interpretation of this Convention which cannot be resolved by direct negotiation shall, at the request of either party to the dispute, be referred for settlement to a conciliation commission composed of one representative of each party to the dispute and one representative appointed by the Chairman of the Danube Commission from among the nationals of a State not a party to the dispute, or, if the Chairman of the Commission is a national of a State party to the dispute, then by the Danube Commission.
The decision of the conciliation commission shall be accepted by the parties to the dispute as final and binding".
Question: Members of the Danube Commission (Representatives, their Deputies, Counsellors and Experts), as well as officers of the Secretariat work for providing free navigation on the Danube. To which extent are they free in accomplishing their tasks? What are the limits of their powers?
Answer: Article 16 of the Belgrade Convention stipulates that: "Members of the Commission and officers authorized by it shall enjoy diplomatic immunity. Its official buildings, archives and documents of all kinds shall be inviolable".
In accordance with article 19 of the Belgrade Convention: "The Danubian States shall afford the Commission, its officers and its staff the assistance necessary to enable them to carry out their duties under this Convention.
Such officers and staff shall, subject to compliance with national law, have the right of free movement while carrying out their official duties on the river and in ports within the jurisdiction of the Commission".
Question: How is the Danube Commission funded?
Answer: In order to carry out its activities the Danube Commission has its own Secretariat, which presently employs a total of 30 people. The budget of the Danube Commission, which should cover all expenses for the maintenance of the building, staff, techniques and etc., is drawn up from equal contributions of the Member States of the Danube Commission.
Question: Following what rules of accounting reporting is the annual budget implemented?
Answer: The Danube Commission has set for the Secretariat its own internal rules of accounting reporting. These rules take due account of non-profit organization features and includes mandatory monitoring and supervision, as well as instructions for procurement tenders and instructions for internal audit, which should be carried out annually.
Question: Does financial instructions for crisis prevention in the Danube Commission exist?
Answer: Along with the regular budget the Danube Commission holds Reserve fund for the budget emergency situations and special expenses. Reserve fund shall not exceed the level of 10% of the regular budget.
Question: How does the replenishment of the Reserve fund works?
Answer: Apart from the Member States in the Danube Commission there are Observer States. The latest, at the moment of granting them the status of the Observer States, assume voluntarily responsibility to pay 10% share of appropriate membership fee for the budget year. Predominant part of the Observer States follows this call. In addition to this, the Reserve fund is replenished by the sales revenue and interest rates.
Question: What are the sources used by the Danube Commission to prepare information containing statistics related to the Danube navigation?
Answer: The DC Secretariat (in terms of the economic and statistical analysis) doesn't deal with the statistics collection by itself, but receives them from the competent authorities of the Member States, first of all, on the basis of the statistical forms endorsed by the DC Session (see "Collected book of the DC documents on statistical and economic issues").
The work with the competent authorities of the DC Member States for obtaining operating statistics through RIS is currently underway.
Question: What kind of statistics related to the Danube navigation can you find at the Danube Commission?
Answer: The Danube Commission is provided with the statistics related to the Danube navigation received on the basis of the indicated forms (depending on their completeness and deadlines for submission by the Member States), which primarily include inquires concerning:
- Availability, structure and age of the Member States fleet;
- Transport of goods on the Danube within the national sections of the Member States;
- Transport of goods by the national vessels;
- Turnover of goods in the Member States ports;
- General information about the Member States.
Question: What publications on economic and statistical issues does the Danube Commission produce?
Answer: Among such examples are:
· Statistical yearbooks of the Danube Commission;
· Statistical handbooks of the Danube Commission;
· Information manual on dues, tariffs and fees in force in the Danube navigation.
You can find more details on the DC's website - "Publishing activities" - "Catalogue of publications of the DC" - "Chapter 6. Statistical and economic issues".
Question: How is it possible to order the publications of the Danube Commission?
Answer: To make an order for the publications of the Danube Commission it is necessary to send a request by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Question: How is it possible to arrange payment for the ordered publications of the Danube Commission?
Answer: Payment for the ordered publications is arranged by bank transfer in euro or in hungarian forints on the bank account of the Danube Commission Secretariat at Hungarian Bank for Foreign Trade (MKB).To make bank transfer in euro it is necessary to indicate IBAN of your bank in "Purchase order for the publications of the Danube Commission".
To make bank transfer in euro the following bank details should be used:
Magyar Külkereskedelmi Bank RT.
V. Vaci u. 38
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary
10300002-50420009 - 71004886
BIC code: MKKB HU HB
To make bank transfer in hungarian forints the following bank details should be used:
Magyar Külkereskedelmi Bank RT.
V. Vaci u. 38
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary
10300002-50420009 - 71003287
BIC code: MKKB HU HB
When making bank transfer in hungarian forints, the MKB bank exchange rate applied is the exchange rate as of the date of payment.
When making payment by check, all order-related costs should be taken into consideration.
Question: How is the total cost of ordered publications estimated?
Answer: The total cost of ordered publications of the Danube Commission contains costs of publications and delivery costs. Additionally, the ordering customer meets all banking expenses related to his order. Publications cost can be learnt from "Catalogue of Publications of the Danube Commission". Delivery cost depends on the weight of parcel with packed publications, the region of your place of residence and selected delivery method.
Question: What kind of courier service can be used for the delivery of the ordered publications?
Question: What publications are the Danube Commission's best sellers?
Answer: In previous years the following publications were in good demand: Pilot charts of the Danube River, Overview map of the Danube River, Statistical yearbooks, Hydrological yearbooks of the Danube River, Mileage chart of the Danube River, Guide for boatmaster, Protocols of the Danube Commission and etc.
Question: What documents are the basis for sale and free of charge distribution of the publications of the Danube Commission?
Answer: Distribution and sale of publications of the Danube Commission are based on the Regulation on the financial activity of the Danube Commission. In accordance with article 10.3 of the said Regulation distribution and sale of publications of the Danube Commission are accomplished on the basis of the following rules:
a) Secretariat circulates free of charge:
- to the Member States of the Danube Commission at most 70% from the total number of exemplars, approved by the session, in the official languages of the Commission, with due consideration of the respective state;
- by two exemplars for special river administrations, international and other organizations.
b) Publications are provided to the officers and employees of the Secretariat in compliance with distribution approved by the Director General.
c) In case the Member State of the Commission asks for getting additional exemplars, they are submitted to the indicated address at the price, set in budget currency, including publishing costs.
d) Publication price, held for sale to the organizations from the non-Member States of the Commission, is settled by the Director General in euro on the basis of publishing costs.
Question: Is it possible to find out more about the publications of the Danube Commission for the preceding years at the library of the Danube Commission?
Answer: In order to get access to the publications of the Danube Commission and other publications of the Library Collection it is necessary to make preliminary arrangement concerning time of a visit to the DC by phone or email. The use of the DC's Library Collection within the premises of the Secretariat is free of charge for all visitors.
Question: What is the procedure for getting access to the archive of the Danube Commission?
Answer: In order to work with archival documents of the DC preliminary written arrangement is needed.
Question: If the posted list of questions and answers doesn't give me an answer to the question concerned - What shall I do?
Answer: The Secretariat of the Danube Commission is constantly improving and upgrading the organization's website, therefore, in case an inquiry is sent via e-mal, Your question and answer will be taken into consideration at the earliest updating of the website, under the heading "FAQ".