Press releases, 05.04.2023

The Federal Council is committed to uniform rules and greater environmental protection in European inland navigation. At its meeting on 5 April 2023, it adopted a dispatch approving the Strasbourg Convention of 2012 on the Limitation of Liability in Inland Navigation (CLNI 2012) and amending the Federal Act on Navigation under the Swiss Flag (Maritime Navigation Act), as well as approving the amendment to the Convention on the collection, deposit and reception of waste generated during navigation on the Rhine and inland waterways (CDNI).

Ratification of the extension of the CDNI will increase environmental protection by banning uncontrolled degassing on the Rhine, Moselle and other waterways in Germany and the Netherlands. This prohibition was not included in the original convention. By acceding to the CLNI 2012, Switzerland joins efforts to modernise and standardise legislation relating to limitation of liability on European inland waterways.

Strengthening liability law through standardisation

The system of limitation of liability enables vessel owners and crews, as well as salvors, to limit their liability for a variety of claims arising out of the same incident to a specified maximum amount of liability. This allows for a better assessment of the liability risk. It further ensures that injured parties receive sufficient compensation.

The CLNI 2012 has been in force since 1 July 2019. Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Serbia have already ratified the agreement, while France and Switzerland are preparing to do so.

Strengthening environmental protection in inland navigation by prohibiting uncontrolled degassing

Inland navigation is already considered an environmentally friendly mode of transport. The extension of the CDNI to include a ban on uncontrolled degassing will further reduce pollution of the atmosphere and waters, making inland navigation even more environmentally friendly.

The ban is an important further development of waste management in inland navigation and will ensure that high environmental standards are uniformly enforced within the scope of the CDNI. In addition to Switzerland, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are contracting parties to the CDNI.

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Last update 19.07.2023

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