inland navigation-Helsinki

Inland Navigation

Regulatory support for vessel design, operation and sustainability

With safety and sustainability as key concerns for the inland navigation market, Bureau Veritas mobilizes two centuries of experience to help owners comply with inland vessel regulations.

The inland navigation market is a dynamic one, contributing to local and regional economies. As a more sustainable transport option for goods and passengers, it also attracts scrutiny from national authorities to ensure increased safety and environmental responsibility. This in turn shapes priorities for vessel owners in terms of operational reliability and green credentials.

1350 Inland navigation vessels in the BV fleet
170 Inland navigation vessels entered the BV Register in 2020
Over 300 Inland navigation vessels are currently under survey to be classed by BV


For nearly 200 years, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore (BV) has partnered within the inland navigation sector to improve the safety and reliability of vessels, advance the energy transition, and accelerate digitalization. We operate in all major countries, with certified vessels sailing major rivers, large lakes, estuaries and coastal areas all over the world.

We have experience with all types of inland navigation vessels, with Rules for passenger ships, dry cargo and tanker vessels, pushers and launches, as well as stationary units and harbor equipment.

Help from the design stage

Help from the design stage

BV offers a series of dedicated rules for the design and construction of inland vessels. Our rules encompass many precise parameters related to the strength and reliability of the hull structure, machinery and electrical installations and safety equipment.


Notations for a wide range of operating conditions

The approval framework in our certificates denotes the precise notations pertaining to the operational conditions of the vessel, including a range of optional notations. Among these are type and service, maximum wave height, and draft.

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A complementary offer

The above notations may be complemented by additions regarding loading and unloading conditions, reinforcement for ice, and container equipment. Our optional “Estuary Plus” navigation notation includes technical requirements for vessels operating in restricted maritime areas.

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Surveying in-service vessels

We provide a framework for safe vessel operation and maintenance throughout the vessel’s lifecycle, including inspections of areas and systems prone to corrosion. Existing vessels may be subject to a classification after construction (CAC) assessment, with a thorough survey conducted in line with BV classification rules.


Helping inland vessel owners to navigate regulations

BV is a Recognized Organization in 24 countries as a provider of compliance-related services in line with their specific inland navigation regulations, such as the ES-TRIN[1] and the ADN[2].

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Floating establishments

Our classification rules include floating establishments, or berthed units, such as hotels, restaurants, swimming pools and cinemas. These rules include specific technical references for the type of stationary unit concerned, their type designation for predefined missions, and the number of people on board.

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Harbor equipment

Our rules extend to stationary units of equipment in harbors, on riverbanks or lakesides.

We provide specific technical references for units such as floating docks, landing docks, floating bridges, floating doors, worksite units, units designed for floating storage and bunker stations.

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In addition to classification, BV offers a complementary service – CAP Inland – to classed and unclassed vessels alike. This service determines a vessel’s condition, sets criteria for assessing its hull structure and onboard machinery, and defines reporting parameters for any damage using quality ratings and documented reporting. An alternative to CAP-Inland exists for Tanker Plus labelled vessels.



With a longstanding experience in alternative fuels, we are committed to partnering with the inland navigation sector to accelerate decarbonization and develop new technology. We have published comprehensive rules that cover the full vessel lifecycle, from design and construction to operations and maintenance, all with an eye to promoting green practices. We also offer CLEANVESSEL, an optional classification notation for vessels that can limit emissions in one or more of three areas: air, water and waste.

Cyber Security - Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore


Digitalization will be the next wave of change for the inland navigation sector, as vessels become increasingly connected. BV is at the forefront of cyber security for the shipping industry, and provides services to help vessel owners reap the benefits of digitalization.

[1] European Standard laying down Technical Requirements for Inland Navigation vessels
[2] European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways

Locate Bureau Veritas Class ships
Access our online register of inland vessels