Federal Council launches consultations on two international inland navigation treaties

Press release, 29.05.2019

At its meeting of 29 May 2019, the Federal Council initiated a consultation process regarding two international agreements on inland navigation – the Strasbourg Convention of 2012 on the limitation of liability in inland navigation and the Convention on the collection, deposit and reception of waste produced during navigation on the Rhine and Inland Waterways. Both areas covered by the treaties are already subject to regulation, but new factors require that the agreements be brought up-to-date. The first convention has been re-drafted and substantive provisions have been added to the second.

The Strasbourg Convention of 2012 on the limitation of liability in inland navigation replaces the former liability agreement of 1998, adjusting the limitations on liability in line with inflation and including provisions to simplify this procedure for future adjustments. In order to harmonise the liability regime, the convention has now been opened to all states for accession. Previously, only Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland were parties to the treaty.

Because the convention has been re-drafted, the Federal Act on Navigation under the Swiss Flag (SR 747.30) will need to be amended. Article 126 paragraph 2 of the Act refers to the 1998 convention and will therefore need to be amended if the proposal is accepted.

The Convention on the collection, deposit and reception of waste produced during navigation on the Rhine and Inland Waterways now includes the prohibition of degassing cargo tanks, requiring several changes to the text of the treaty. In addition to this general prohibition, new provisions that impose the costs of degassing on the charterer have also been included. This is in line with the polluter pays principle underlying the convention.


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Tel. +41 58 462 31 53
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Publisher:

The Federal Council
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs