Members' Research Service By / November 10, 2017

Recognition of professional qualifications in inland navigation [EU Legislation In Progress]

While inland navigation is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly mode of transport, it is not used to its full capacity. Apart from the need for significant infrastructure improvements, the sector is affected by limited labour mobility and shortage of qualified workers.

© johnmerlin / Fotolia

Written by Marketa Pape (5th edition),

Updated on 25.02.2018

Recognition of professional qualifications in inland navigation
© johnmerlin / Fotolia

To enhance labour mobility, the European Commission proposed in 2016 to establish a common system of qualifications for workers on EU inland waterways, based on their competence. While the previous EU legislation applied only to boatmasters, the proposal introduced harmonised rules for all deck crew members and extended the scope of legislation to the previously excluded River Rhine.

After interinstitutional negotiations concluded on 27 June 2017, the European Parliament adopted the agreed text on 14 November 2017 and the Council approved the EP position on 4 December 2017. The final act was published in the Official Journal on 27 December 2017. Member States have until 17 January 2022 to transpose the provisions into their national law.


Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the recognition of professional qualifications in inland navigation and repealing Council Directive 96/50/EC and Council Directive 91/672/EEC
Committee responsible:


Shaddow rapporteurs:







Transport and Tourism (TRAN)

Gesine Meissner (ALDE, Germany)

Renaud Muselier (EPP, France),

Claudia Tapardel (S&D, Romania),

Peter Van Dalen (ECR, The Netherlands),

Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL, Finland),

Keith Taylor (Greens/EFA, UK),

Daniela Aiuto (EFDD, Italy),

Marie-Christine Arnautu (ENF, France)

COM(2016) 82 of 18.2.2016

procedure ref.: 2016/0050(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Procedure completed. Directive (EU) 2017/2397
OJ L 345, 27.12.2017, pp. 53-86

Stage: procedure completed

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