Single Point of Contact for Problem Management on Danube (SPOC-PMD)

SPOC PMD is a service offered by the Danube Commission (DC) to the IWT sector to report administrative barriers in Danube navigation. Administrative procedures and processes carried out by border and customs authorities, navigation and port authorities as well as other national public administrations are indispensable but must be carried out in a non-discriminatory and most effective way.

SPOC-PMD is intended to help identify potential for harmonising, simplifying and digitalising control and administrative processes in all Danube states and thus support the vision “Same River – Same Rules” for a seamless and efficient flow of cargo on the Danube.

Behind SPOC-PMD is a helpdesk operated by the DC Secretariat which handles cases reported by barge and port operators but also logistics service providers and cargo owners with the help of the Electronic Contact Form.

The Electronic Contact Form is used to initiate dialogue with the DC Secretariat. The experts of the Secretariat will then handle the cases in direct communication with the reporting company and in close cooperation with partners from the EUSDR Priority Areas 1A and PA 11 as well as with professional organisations such as Pro Danube International and other associations active at transnational and national level.

The management of identified administrative obstacles carried out by the DC Secretariat and its partners includes the following activities:

  • Recording of reported obstacles/problems related to control/administrative procedures and practices;
  • Analysing/surveying the reported cases;
  • Assessing the barriers and differentiation into: “structural barrier” or “quickly removable barrier”;
  • Identify the competent national authority/administration;
  • Interaction with the competent authority for validation and solution finding;
  • Initiation of the problem-solving mechanism in the case of a “quickly removable barrier”;
  • Initiate an extended consultation mechanism in case of a “structural barrier” (relevant working meetings with national authorities/administrations, technical assistance to change procedures and processes that reduce the barrier, escalation at state level via the DC working groups and DC Plenary Sessions);
  • Follow-up of the elimination/mitigation measures by the competent authorities/administrations;
  • Reporting and evaluation (problems identified, solutions proposed, results achieved).

SPOC-PMD aims to reduce idle times in Danube logistics and lower logistics costs, thus supporting the shift of cargo to the Danube in line with the core objectives of European inland navigation and port policy as well as climate policy.

The service is made possible by the financial support of the European Commission/GD MOVE under the Technical Assistance Grant Agreement concluded with the Danube Commission for the period 2023 to 2027.