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UNECE recommendations support safe navigation on Europe’s inland waterways through harmonized signs and signals

The European inland waterway network of international importance spans more than 29,000 km and includes over 400 important ports and terminals. Inland water transport is a multifunctional, reliable, economical and environmentally friendly mode of transport with considerable untapped capacities and potential for growth.

Safe navigation on these waterways is ensured not only by harmonized navigation rules, but also by a unified system of signs, signals and markings. Since 1956, UNECE’s Working Party on Inland Water Transport has supported cooperation in both of these key areas. 

Keeping up to date with the latest trends and technological developments, the new European Code for Signs and Signals on Inland Waterways (SIGNI) published by UNECE provides recommendations for the installation and application of buoyage and marking on European inland waterways. It is based on the latest European Code for Inland Waterways (CEVNI).

The SIGNI Code establishes general principles for the buoyage and marking system and their installation, the geographical limits of its applicability, visibility of signs and signals, buoyage and marking of broad waterways and lakes, marking of permanent structures, installation of radar reflectors, visualization of signs and marks on electronic navigation charts, minimal dimensions and drawings of the signs contained in CEVNI, as well as special regional and national requirements.

The new Code builds on the most recent resolutions and draws on best practice and experience of River Commissions, up-to-date standards developed by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) and other international organizations, the European Commission and recent developments of the International RIS Expert Groups.

It is intended for the competent authorities responsible for navigation safety and fairway maintenance.

The Code is freely available in English, French and Russian online at:

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