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Inland Electronic Navigation Chart production by the Flemish Hydrography

Jasmine Dumollin, Charles de Jongh


Safety of navigation on inland waterways is as important as in

maritime waters. To guarantee the latter, Electronic Navigational

Charts (ENCs) are produced since several years.


As inland waterways have specific features and specific regulations

different from the maritime area, the use of existing ENCs is not

sufficient. Therefore international standards specifically for Inland

ENCs  have been developed.


An Inland ENC contains any chart information required for safe

navigation on inland waterways and in mixed traffic zones, where both

maritime and inland vessels navigate, such as the Ghent-Terneuzen

Canal. It contains a lot more details about bridges and locks, for

instance, than a maritime ENC. Buoys, traffic signs and other signs

that are specific to inland navigation are also charted.


In order to support inland waterway transport with a view to enhancing

safety, efficiency and environmental friendliness the European Union

Directive 2005/44/EC sets up a framework for the development and use

of harmonised river information services, RIS .


Member States are obliged to make necessary arrangements to implement

RIS on inland waterways of class IV  and above. For all waterways of

class Va and above, including ports which are linked to these

waterways, Inland ENCs must be produced as well.


The Flemish Hydrography is producing these Inland ENCs, on the

authority of the Shipping Assistance Division of the Agency for

Maritime Services and Coast and the Ports of Ghent and Zeebrugge.


These navigational charts are extremely important as they cover not

only the maritime navigation zone but also the adjacent inland

waterways which haven’t been mapped before on nautical charts. The

article is looking in more detail at why & how the Inland ENCs are

produced and used.