Cruising down the Danube? Find out what documentation could affect your boat
Austria – Documents for the Danube
Last October we were re-entering the EU at the Serbian / Hungarian border on our Irish flagged boat Aquarelle.
spite of our careful checking of regulations beforehand, we found that
the Hungarian river police would not accept our Irish Documentation as
the certificate of registry did not have a “valid until” date.
a result of this, we made a point of visiting the national offices that
deal with regulations to find out what was necessary in each country
Note this is not the official position but my interpretation having asked questions of officials.
Austria Boat documentation
What documents are required for a recreational boat entering Austrian waterways?
Length less than 20 m: (1) (3)
no certificate required for:
– rowing boats with a length of less than 20 m
– sailing boats with a length of less than 10 m (CAUTION: sailing craft with a deadweight of more than 250 kg have to be equipped with an engine sufficient for safe manoeuvring)
– motor vessels with electric propulsion which is energised exclusively by accumulators with a power of less than 4.4 kW (no gen-sets)
certificate required for:
– all motor vessels with combustion engine (a sailing boat equipped with auxiliary engine will be regarded as motor vessel, see above)
– motor vessels with electric engines with a power of 4.4 kW and above
Length 20 m and above: (2)
What is an acceptable inspection certificate if required?
Length less than 20 m:
– valid certificate of the respective country of origin OR
– International Certificate for Pleasure Craft according to Resolution 13 of the UN-ECE
Length 20 m and above:
– Community Certificate according to Dir. 2006/87/EC OR
– Rhine Vessel Certificate OR
– vessel certificate of country of origin, as far as foreseen in intergovernmental agreements (e.g. vessel certificates issued according to the recommendations of the Danube Commission)
Qualification of Boatmaster
no boatmasters’ licence required for:
– rowing boats – age limit: 12
– sailing boats – age limit: 14, if all persons on board wear life-jackets: 12
– motor vessels with a power of less than 4.4 kW – age limit 16, for electrically powered boats with a power of less than 500 W: 12
Length less than 20 m:
– valid licence of the country of residence OR
– International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft according to Resolution 40 of the UN-ECE
Length 20 m and above:
– boatmasters’ certificate according to Dir. 96/50/EC OR
– Rhine boatmasters’ certificate OR
– certificate of country of residence as far as foreseen in intergovernmental agreements
under the condition of proof of at least 8 voyages upstream and downstream in the sections Wallsee – Persenbeug, Melk – Altenwoerth and Vienna – Austrian-Slovakian border under supervision of a qualified boatmaster
What is the requirement for VHF radio? Must it be ATIS enabled?
VHF-licence according to Regional Agreement on VHF-Communication in Inland Navigation (Basel, 2000), ATIS is mandatory
If VHF-equipment is not in conformity it is not allowed to be operated.
VHF-equipment (2 sets!) is mandatory for all vessels with a length of 20 m and above
Operator’s certificate and boat licence required?
Yes, see above
Is there a time limit that visitors may stay?
Only for boats falling under the scope of Dir. 94/25/EC (Recreational Craft Directive) which do not carry a CE-mark: 3 months
If longer what is necessary?
no extension possible if not CE-marked
What is the official position regarding the wearing of life jackets: (6)
mandatory for all persons on deck (i.e. outside of cabins) during passage of locks
What is the official position regarding discharge of black or grey water:
untreated domestic waste water may only be discharged from vessels which are approved for not more than 10 persons on board
Does a tender need additional registration if over ____ m or ___hp?
No, as long as operated in immediate vicinity of the vessel it belongs to (e.g. shuttle to shore, maintenance).
If operated separately see above, boats under 20 m of length
What additional equipment is required for?
all motorised recreational craft will be required to carry at least the following safety equipment according to an amendment of the Waterways Traffic Regulation which will enter into force probably in mid-summer or early autumn (legislative procedure pending):
– 1 or 2 anchor(s) with total mass [kg] of at least 1.5 times LOA with
– 1 or 2 anchor chains with a length [m] of at least 0.5 times LOA + anchor lines with a length of at least 4 times LOA OR
– 1 or 2 anchor lines with a length [m] of at least 5 times LOA
with a breaking load [kN] of at least 0.5 times LOA
– 2 mooring lines, length [m] at least 1.5 LOA each, breaking load [kN] 0.5 times LOA
– 1 boat-hook
– vessels with L