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WELCOME to the BICS website

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This website is provided for users of BICS and other parties that are involved in the process of electronic reporting in inland shipping. Skippers, (inland shipping) companies, waterway managers, developers of RIS technology and other interested parties can find comprehensive information about the BICS Inland Shipping Information and Communication System and the associated applications and standards on this site.


Are you ready for the change to BICS?

As you may have heard from the trade journals, the BTB news flashes and the BICSmail newspaper, something is changing about travel reporting with BICS. Rijkswaterstaat has launched a new message service called HERMES. This means that a number of changes have occurred for BICS users compared to the past. Not only do you have to apply for an RWS account (this is the same account as for Lock Planning and/or Fairway Information, so you may already have such an account), you also have to update the BICS software to version 5.5.0 or higher and do some settings adjustments in BICS.

The infographic below explains what to do in your situation and provides important links to the necessary forms. If this leads to questions, please do not hesitate to contact the BICS Helpdesk on +31 (0) 88 2022600. You can of course also send an e-mail to

For BICS users

The website has been specially set up for direct users of BICS, the skippers in the inland shipping sector. Users can register online (Requesting BICS) and download the software. You can also find manuals, support, background information and contact information on these web pages. Developers can find the relevant documentation, standards, reference data and specifications here.

BICS has been completely upgraded

BICS version 5 dashboard exampleBICS version 5, an example of the main screen (Dashboard) in the new BICS software. Rijkswaterstaat has now introduced a new BICS system. BICS version 5 is the new, completely revised version of BICS, which supersedes all previous BICS versions (version 4 and older) and ERI-Net. This modernised computer program is the definitive model for electronic reporting via Internet technology and based on international RIS standards.
This website is mainly intended for BICS users, such as inland shipping skippers and/or businesses involved in inland shipping transport. The site contains additional information about the operation and functioning of the BICS application(s). The upgraded program ensures compliance with all mandatory electronic reporting requirements.

NOTE: A new release of BICS has been published (version 5.5) This version is compatible with Mac OS Catalina (10.15). 

The website

The content of this website has been completely adapted to reflect the new BICS version. The 'Using BICS' section contains practical instructions on installing and using the new BICS software version. The 'Help' page provides information about the structure and use of this website, such as the meaning of frequently used Terms and Abbreviations.

Use the menu or the hyperlinks in the text to navigate through the website, or type a search term in the search box. You can also consult ‘Tips & Frequently Asked Questions’. The information you require may be immediately available in this section. For more information or any questions you may have about BICS, please do not hesitate to contact the BICS Helpdesk.

We wish you every success with your electronic reporting!

The Waal river in Nijmegen, seen from the traffic control station
The Waal river in Nijmegen, seen from the traffic control station