On 21 January 2020, Mr Dejan Trifunovic represented the Secretariat of the Danube Commission (DC) in the 3rd meeting of the European Commission’s Expert group on technical requirements for inland waterway vessels and a joint meeting with the expert group on the Digital Inland Waterway Area (DINA) in Brussels. Among the topics discussed were the implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/1629 and the ES-TRIN process, including the issues of future Rhine vessel certificates and sea-going vessels on inland waterways. The delegated act on the European Hull Database (EHDB) is due to be finalized in April 2020, the European Reference Data Management System (ERDMS) in October 2020 and the European Crew Database (ECDB) in January 2022.
The representative of the DC Secretariat provided information on the implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/1629 at the DC member state level and supported further implementation of the DANRiSS project, which aims to develop a common database and a legal framework for vessel inspections for the common Bulgarian-Romanian section of the Danube river, with an interface to the national River Information Services.
Consensus was reached within the DINA expert group regarding a common platform for the digitisation process in inland waterway transport. In this context, the European IWT Platform will organize a workshop to be held at the end of February or beginning of March.
The representative of the DC Secretariat also participated in an expert meeting of Subgroup 1 (SG1) on paperless transport of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF) held the next day. In 2019, the DC Secretariat was granted observer status in the DTLF, with an active role in its subgroups SG1 on paperless transport and SG2 on freight corridor information systems.
The DTLF is a group of experts set up by the European Commission that identifies issues and provides recommendations for various transport modes, as well as a platform to facilitate knowledge sharing between all stakeholders in supply chains. Subgroup 1 deals with the digitisation, acceptance and harmonisation of electronic freight transport information and supports the Commission in the preparation of the proposal for a Regulation on electronic freight transport information (eFTI). Ports are key nodes in the logistics chain where digitisation needs to be embraced. Subgroup 2 aims to facilitate data sharing and to establish enhanced interoperability between various information systems and data platforms in supply and logistics chains by defining the parameters of a federated network of platforms.
The meeting defined a clear approach for the EU’s eFTI Regulation as part of the “Third Mobility Package”, which was proposed by the European Commission on 17 May 2018. The final version of the eFTI Regulation was agreed upon by the European Parliament, Council and Commission in the first week of December 2019 and is expected to be adopted in the first half of 2020, to become applicable 5 years later.