River Commissions


From their source to their confluence with another river or the sea, European rivers often flow through several countries. Rather than each country dealing with its section, the regulations for several of the larger rivers are developed for the river as a whole by the relevant river commission.

The Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) is based in Strasbourg, France. Its main focuses are freedom of navigation and a unified system of regulation, with safety and the prosperity of the River Rhine and European inland navigation within its core objectives.

The CCNR was founded in 1815 (see history).

Decisions made by the CCNR are legally binding in its Member States which currently include Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The official languages of the CCNR are French, German and Dutch.

The Danube Commission (DC) is based in Budapest, Hungary. The objectives of the DC are to provide and develop free navigation on the Danube for commercial vessels and to strengthen and develop economic and cultural relations. In contrast to the CCNR the DC issues decisions and recommendations which are not legally binding; to be implemented they must be transposed into the national legislation the Member States.

The DC has 11 Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. The official languages of the DC are German, Russian and French.

The Mosel Commission (MC) is based in Trier, Germany. It has three Member States: France, Germany and Luxembourg. The focus of the MC is shipping. It works to ensure that shipping continues to operate there as profitably as possible and to promote the interests of shipping on the Moselle.

The MC issues binding decisions, regulating navigation on the Mosel, including traffic rules, crew certificates, manning requirements and tolls.

The International Sava River Basin Commission (the Sava Commission) is based in Zagreb, Croatia. It has four Member States: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.

It works to achieve transboundary cooperation for sustainable development of the region.

Decisions of the Sava Commission in the field of navigation are legally binding for its Member States.

Related page

European inland waterways