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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.



One-time electronic reporting of trip Flanders - Netherlands possible from 15 February 2023

Are you sailing from the Netherlands to Flanders or vice versa? Then from 15 February 2023 you will only have to report this voyage once. Once more electronic "re-notification" at the border will then no longer be necessary. This administrative simplification is the result of close cooperation between the Flemish Waterway Authorities and Rijkswaterstaat.

From 15 February 2023, journey and cargo data reported prior to the journey via reporting software (e.g. BICS) will be shared directly with the mutual partners. "It is nice that this can be done this way. Above all, it saves double work for the skipper. We received signals from the sector that electronic reporting at the border, between Flanders and the Netherlands, could cause a lot of frustration. Especially because the internet connection sometimes fails in those places. I am therefore proud that this adaptation is possible." Thus Karin Valkenier, project leader within Rijkswaterstaat.

More efficient processing

In Flanders, since this adaptation, the data are also shared directly with the waterway authorities on the vessel's route via the eRIba platform. "All this, however, on the condition that the skipper passes on at least two waypoints via the reporting software. This ensures more efficient handling of the pre-notification to the engineering works and smooth and correct invoicing," says Jan Gilissen, of the Flemish Waterway.

Smooth sailing

"We will start this exchange from 5 February 2023. You don't have to do anything extra as a skipper, except for a one-off electronic notification at the departure of the voyage. In the start-up period, we are extra curious about the experiences of the partners involved. We hope it will mean even smoother sailing for everyone". Thus Valkenier.


Have you set up automatic resending of voyages between Antwerp and the Netherlands in BICS? Then remove this automatic resending from 15 February. How to do this is explained here.


Special transport voyage reporting with BICS 

Ship voyages involving special transports (see Article 1.21 of the RPR) must be reported electronically. The BICS software can be used to comply with this electronic reporting requirement. In the case of special transports, the composition of the sailing unit may lead to unusual situations with regard to electronic reporting. This instruction card describes these situations and gives instructions on how the voyage concerned should be reported using BICS.


New instruction cards

New instruction cards for BICS have been made available, explaining how to make use of some handy BICS functions. For instance, do you want your voyages from Antwerp to the Netherlands to be resend automatically, or are you looking for a way to have your ETA reported automatically if you have Terneuzen as a waypoint? Then take a look at the instruction cards below. On the user manuals page you can find more instruction cards.


Expansion of the electronic reporting obligation target group as of December 1, 2021

The electronic reporting requirement provided for in article 12.01 of the RPR, which can be processed today via radiotelephony, in writing or electronically, must be carried out electronically with effect from 1st December 2021. The electronic reporting requirement, which previously only applied to convoys and vessels carrying containers on board, will be extended to the types of vessel indicated below.

  • Vessels carrying goods covered by the ADN under article 12.01(1)(a) of the RPR;
  • Vessels of a length exceeding 110m under article 12.01(1)(d) of the RPR;
  • Cabin vessels under article 12.01(1)(e) of the RPR;
  • Seagoing vessels under article 12.01(1)(f) of the RPR;
  • Vessels with an LNG system aboard under article 12.01(1)(g) of the RPR;
  • Special transport operations as construed by article 1.21 under article 12.01(1)(h) of the RPR.

You can use the BICS software to comply with this electronic reporting obligation.

If this leads to questions, please do not hesitate to contact the BICS helpdesk. You can also send your question by e-mail using the BICS contact form.


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