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UNECE’s new Glossary for Inland Water Transport to ensure consistency of terminology and to facilitate cross-sectoral cooperation

UNECE’s new Glossary for Inland Water Transport to ensure consistency of terminology and to facilitate cross-sectoral cooperation


UNECE’s new Glossary for Inland Water Transport provides a comprehensive list of terms and definitions used in the various fields of inland waterways, navigation and transport of goods and passengers by inland waterways.  

This trilingual publication in English, French and Russian comprises over 700 terms with synonyms and their definitions used in international conventions and agreements, UNECE resolutions and publications. 

The glossary aims to:  

  • Facilitate the understanding of UNECE rules, standards and resolutions relevant to inland water transport and avoid different interpretation;  

  • Ensure the consistency of terminology with legal instruments and standards of international organizations;  

  • Assist waterway administrations and practitioners from the public and private sectors to establish a harmonized way of using the terms in the three languages;   

  • Facilitate cross-sectoral cooperation and the unification of terms. 

The glossary builds on the terminology used by the Working Party on Inland Water Transport and other UNECE working parties in the field of inland transport, trade facilitation and environment. It is harmonized with terms of river commissions and international organizations, such as International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), European committee for drawing up standards in the field of inland navigation (CESNI) and others. 

The glossary consists of 10 parts: General terms; Waterway Infrastructure; Transport of Goods and Passengers, Transport Documents; Waterway Signs and Marking; Navigation Rules; Vessel and Equipment; River Information Services; Prevention of Pollution; Hydrography, Meteorology and Cartography, and Inland Waterways Statistics. 

It is available as a paper copy and online at Inland Water Transport Publications | UNECE

Any suggestions for improvement, whether additional fields with corresponding entries, or amendments, are most welcome and will be taken into account in its further development. 

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 12 34

Email: [email protected]

Reproduction is permitted provided that the source is acknowledged.