Why a legislative reform of the IWT sector is necessary?

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In order to develop inland waterways infrastructure that is not only among the best in the world but best for Ukraine, a sustainable legislative framework should be a key driver for the inland waterway transport reform in Ukraine, in addition to the liberalization of the market and favourable conditions for private investors.

Key steps for the IWT legislative reform:

  • Market access: realistic; liberal regime, based on compliance with applicable standards (maritime and inland shipping); compliant with EU-legislation; de facto access for EU-certified inland and maritime vessels;
  • Deck crew members and vessels; transport of dangerous goods: according to EU-standards; EU-certificates recognized in Ukraine;
  • Rules for navigation (navigation requirements): will be based on UNECE (CEVNI) and Danube Commission (DFND) recommendations;
  • Various EU standards (professional competence of operators; principles for contracting and pricing): compliant with EU-legislation;
  • Administrative procedures deck crew members, vessels: in line with EU-regulations;

Although the law represents an essential step towards a relaunch of inland navigation in Ukraine, further political and administrative initiatives are necessary to provide this transport mode with optimal framework conditions for increasing its market share.

  • River Information Services implementation:
    legal aspects generally compliant;
    praxis: basic facilities operative ;
    however, further investments are necessary;
  • Inland waterway maintenance: normalized network (fairway dimensions), basic legal provision foreseen in the draft law;
    however: institutional assignment and operational procedures of maintenance activity, including environmental assessment, to be detailed and further aligned with EU-environmental standards (water framework directive and others);
  • Miscellaneous provisions for shipping (pleasure craft; pilotage; emergency and salvage; liability): concern provisions based on national practice and tradition;
    aspect: pilotage for inland navigation; obligatory pilotage to be excluded for inland navigation;
  • Institutional: assignments of competences (MIU; MARAD): unprecise and partially
    overlapping; still open-ended provision on river maintenance;
  • Funding river maintenance and development: open-ended provision on the Inland Waterway State Fund and its funding to be clarified;
  • Tariff policy on IWT: scattered provisions, partially of only declaratory character (port dues);
  • Dedicated IWT-agency for infrastructure maintenance, traffic facilitation (RIS and suprastructure) and market development, essential element for the future governance of the river system.