Serbia awards Bureau Veritas delegation rights
The Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure has signed a new agreement to delegate inland navigation inspection and survey services to Bureau Veritas in connection with the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN) and the 1966 Geneva Convention on the Measurement of Inland Navigation Vessels.
Serbia will also adopt Bureau Veritas rules for the classification of inland navigation vessels in its applicable regulations, and the hull classification of vessels will now be carried out according to these rules. The agreement between the two parties was signed on 17 November 2021,
Under the accord, Bureau Veritas is authorized to review drawings, calculations, equipment, and specific documents within the scope of the applicable regulations, both for existing vessels and new constructions.
Bureau Veritas has also been delegated to issue ADN certificates on behalf of Serbia’s national administration. The co-operation with the Serbian administration will also include possible requests from officials to carry out specific unannounced inspections.
Development on the Danube
Serbia has an extensive network of inland waterways, and is the second longest riparian state on the Danube River. Nearly 580 kilometers of the river flows through the country, with several sections shared with bordering Croatia and Romania.
The Danube Commission plans to develop commercial shipping activities on the river, as well as strengthen economic relations between the riparian countries. Manfred Seitz, Director General of the Secretariat of the Danube Commission, says member states are keen to achieve their goal of shifting more freight onto inland waterways in order to meet the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable & Smart Mobility Strategy.
Indeed, inland navigation is one of the most energy efficient transport modes and is considered crucial for providing sustainable multimodal transport links. The Danube Commission cooperates actively with the relevant international bodies involved in different aspects of inland waterway transport, such as UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), CCNR (Central Commission for the Navigation of Rhine), and the European Commission.
Shifting from roads to waterways
Several European projects aim to increase capacity and improve efficiency and safety on the inland waterway network in order to assist in the modal shift from road to river navigation.
A framework loan linked to the 2015-2025 Development Strategy on Waterborne Transport adopted by the Republic of Serbia includes several projects which focus on ports, the waterway network and the enhancement of intelligent waterway transport systems. These measures will be crucial for the 54 inland shipping companies registered in the country.
Serbia currently transports 12 million tons through its inland waterway network, representing 28.7% of the country’s goods - significantly above the EU average. Although agricultural products, iron ore and metals are the main commodities transported on the middle Danube, chemical products represent 580 million tonne-kilometres per year and these vessels must comply with ADN regulation.
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