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Rules concerning the technical regulations of single barges entered into force in Flanders on the 15

A new Decree of the Flemish Government of 15 June 2018 provides for an amendment to the Royal Decree of 19 March 2009 on technical requirements for inland vessels, whereby this regulation is extended to include technical requirements for single barges.

The introduction of this special and very specific regulation is more of an economic nature.

On 25 March 2016, the Flemish Government committed itself with the establishment of the company "Watertruck+ bvba", with a view to the further innovation of the inland shipping sector as one of the solutions for more efficient logistics provisioning. To this end, a project has been started with "Watertruck+ bvba" to develop a modular system of (small) barges that can be used on and that therefore can supply the smaller inland waterways. In order for these vessels to be certified, it was necessary to make the required adaptations to the existing 2009 regulations.

Regulations in a nutshell

The amendments can be consulted in Annex II of the Royal Decree, which first introduces the concept of a 'single barge' and then provides for new special technical regulations on single barges.

The definition of what is to be qualified as a 'single barge' has been given its place in Article 1.01-14 a) Annex II. It is in fact a pushed barge which is not part of an assembly and which has its own mechanical means of propulsion allowing it to travel over long distances.

Furthermore, the-new Chapter 16(a) lays down the technical requirements for such vessels.

For example, a single-handed barge will need to have;

- A wheelhouse, in which the necessary facilities are integrated;

- A fixed-VHF installation;

- An AIS station, which however has to be switched off as soon as the barge is part of an assembly;

- A second control system if the vessel does not have two or more rudder-propeller, water-jet or cycloidal-propeller installations which are independent of each other;

- A lifeboat;

- Two lifebuoys, in running order, on deck.

In other respects, these single barges shall, as far as construction and equipment regulations are concerned, be subject to the already existing provisions of Annex II, Chapters 3 to 14 as well as Chapter 16 and 23.


The application of this new regulation on the technical requirements of a single barge will make it possible to certify these vessels, which will enable them to be used to supply various smaller (inland) waterways.

If you want more information on the Belgian legislation on single barges, please contact info@kegels-co.be