Police of navigation / traffic rules

Police regulations committee

Navigation police rules are drawn up by the CCNR police regulations committee.

Main areas of responsibility:
Safety of navigation, operation of vessels and behaviour of river traffic

Relevant regulations:
Police Regulations for the Navigation of the Rhine (RPNR)
Radiotelephony guide for inland navigation

  • Modification of the RPNR to reflect current developments or on the back of experience, harmonisation with the CEVNI code;
  • Modification of the requirements for radar apparatus in accordance with current developments or on the back of experience;
  • Modification of the requirements concerning the colour and intensity of lights, and approval of signalling lanterns for navigation on the Rhine in accordance with current developments or on the back of experience;
  • Ongoing adaptation of the regional agreement concerning radiotelephony activities on inland waterways;
  • Meetings with the river and navigation police forces;
  • Ongoing adaptation of the recommendations for harmonising penalties.

Main areas of responsibility:
Finalisation of guidelines for river information services and their harmonisation within Europe (River Information Services – RIS)

Relevant regulations:
Resolutions on RIS directives and standards

  • Ongoing adaptation of the electronic ship reporting in inland navigation standard;
  • Ongoing adaptation of the notice to skippers standard;
  • Ongoing adaptation of the inland ECDIS standard;
  • Ongoing adaptation of the vessel tracking and tracing standard;
  • Preparation of new guides or updating of existing guides relating to the standards;
  • Organisation of workshops (for all RIS standards).

Committee Chairman: Mr. KOERSCHGEN, Commissioner for Switzerland
Secretariat: Mrs. HIRTZ

Working groups: RP/G, RIS/G

Schedule of meetings

Work programme 145 KB 113 KB 142 KB


Wording of the RPNR

The police regulations contains all the navigation rules applicable on the Rhine.


Documents on the history of the RPNR

  • 1850: First police regulation adopted for navigation on the Rhine (Protocol No. VIII, 1850) 785 KB 1023 KB 1001 KB
  • 155 Jahre internationale Vorschriften der Zentralkommission für die Rheinschifffahrt (V. Orlovius) 2549 KB

Overall structure of the police regulations

The police regulations settles the markings and lights to display by vessels and convoys, the rules for meeting, crossing, overtaking and berthing of vessels as well as the waterway signs, the allowed dimensions of vessels and convoys and the water protection against pollution to keep by navigation. The observance of the rules by navigation is supervised by the national water polices of the Rhine riparian states.

Structure of the Police Regulations

Rules for the whole Rhine

1.General provisions
2.Marks, draught scales tonnage measurement
3.Visual signs on vessels
4.Sound signals on vessels, radiotelephony, information and navigation devices
5.Waterway signs and marking
6.Rules of the road
7.Berthing rules
8.Additional requirements

Special rules for certain section of the Rhine

9.Navigating and berthing rules
10.Navigational restrictions at high and low water
11.Maximum dimensions of craft, pushed convoys, and other assemblies of craft
12.Stretches of the river subject to reporting requirements and stretches where navigation is governed by warning devices
13.Specific rules governing the operation of canal barges on the stretch between Basel - Iffezheim locks
14.Requirements concerning Rhine harbours

Rules for environment protection

15.River protection and disposal of waste produced aboard craft


1.Distinguishing letters or group of letters of the country of the craft’s home port or place of registration
2.(left void)
3.Visual signs on vessels
4.(left void)
5.(left void)
6.Sound signals
7.Waterway signs
8.Waterway buoyage and marking
9.Warning lights on the Oberwesel - St Goar sector, PK 548.5 - 555.43
10.Model oil control log
11.Data to be entered in the Inland AIS device: navigational status information and the “reference point for the positional information aboard the craft”
12.Vessel and convoy category list
13.List of certificates and other on-board documentation referred to in article 1.10 of the RPR

The Police Regulations and the European Code for Inland Waterways (CEVNI)

On a pan-European front, the UN-ECE adopted a recommendation with a view to harmonising inland navigation rules. The rules arising from this recommendation constitute the CEVNI code. Edition 6 was published in November 2021 in French, English and Russian.

The CEVNI Code was largely inspired by the Central Commission's RPNR. Many of its provisions are either identical or equivalent.

With a view to further enhancing the harmonisation of police rules, the UN-ECE, the Central Commission, the Danube Commission the Moselle Commission and the Sava Commission have begun work on the development of a joint document. The process will likely take several more years to complete.


Joint meetings of the River and Navigation Police forces

The experts of the competent authorities and representatives of the police authorities of the Member States of the CCNR meet every few years in order to discuss the harmonization of the application of the traffic rules and to answer questions relating to their practical application. The last such meeting took place in The Haag in 2022. 20 KB 20 KB 20 KB 19 KB


Recommended standard fines for infringements of the police regulations governing the navigation of the Rhine and Moselle. (Resolution 2019-II-23)

  • Catalog of fines [2020] 352 KB 370 KB 362 KB