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Terms and Conditions (messages service account)

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Messages service accounts

Waterway users (usually skippers) meeting certain criteria, the so-called ships target group, are obliged to report to the competent authorities before departure. Reporting is possible by VHF radio or electronically. Under international law it is mandatory for certain waterway users to report electronically.

Waterway users can use a suitable reporting application and a (Rijkswaterstaat) messages service account to send electronic reports and notifications, known as ERI messages, to waterway and/or port authorities.

Applications for messages service accounts can be submitted to Rijkswaterstaat on the account application form on the BICS website (

Conditions of Use

These conditions of use apply to the use of the messages service account issued by Rijkswaterstaat and the associated messages service for the purposes of the electronic reporting for shipping. By accepting the conditions of use on the application form the user is declaring that he has read these conditions of use and agreed to them.


  • (Rijkswaterstaat) messages service: a messages service with mailboxes provided by Rijkswaterstaat for electronic reporting in shipping.
  • Messages service account: an account belonging to an electronic mailbox in the (Rijkswaterstaat) messages service that a user can use to exchange messages with various waterway and/or port authorities.
  • User: Anyone who has access to the Rijkswaterstaat messages service with a user name and password (an activated account).
  • Reporting application: an application suitable for electronic reporting that conforms to the prevailing ERI standards.
  • ERI standards and messages: standards and message definitions in the Electronic Reporting International domain laid down internationally.

Data exchange (use of the account)

  • A messages service account is linked to a user, as stated in the application, and is not transferable. The stated user is responsible for the account and is also the (point of) contact for the account during the life of his or her account.
  • Users are responsible for correct (appropriate) use of the account and will only use the account to make their (own) operational reports.
  • Users are also responsible for the correctness, completeness and reality of the data in their reports in accordance with the applicable regulations and any additional instructions of the competent authorities.
  • Under no circumstances may the use of the account and/or the messages service lead to liability for Rijkswaterstaat for the direct or indirect consequences or potential (consequential) damage.

Personal data protection

  • Rijkswaterstaat will only use the personal data entered for the electronic reporting obligation in accordance with the European regulations in this regard.
  • Rijkswaterstaat will only use and retain personal data for as long as the account exists (has not been terminated).
  • The other conditions of use concerning personal data protection can be found in the privacy statement on the BICS website ( Together with the disclaimer on that website they form an integral part of these terms and conditions.


The following measures have been taken to prevent unauthorised persons from gaining access to data:

  • Users can only gain access to the messages service by way of a unique valid account and associated password.
  • The user accepts full responsibility for the account through one-off activation after applying for the account.
  • Following activation the password is retrieved by the user by way of a personal activation code (all this without human interaction on the part of the messages service).
  • The secure mail-based exchange with the messages service is encrypted.


The data exchanged through the messages service is treated confidentially in accordance with the “Rijkswaterstaat Privacy Regulations for Traffic Registration Systems“ (see website for the original Dutch version of the regulations). Rijkswaterstaat will not make the data public unless it is legally obliged to do so.

Changes and Termination

  • As the account holder the user is legally responsible for notifying Rijkswaterstaat of any changes in his or her personal and/or address details. The account change form on the BICS website can be used for this purpose.
  • The user can terminate his or her account on the BICS website. Following confirmation of this, the account will be deactivated and cleared out and any responsibility for the user will end.


  • Misuse of the account and/or the messages service may lead to closure (deactivation) following a warning, as a result of which access to the messages service will be closed for that account and the exchange of messages will no longer be possible.
  • Rijkswaterstaat reserves the right to close and if necessary to clear the account after a long period of inactivity (more than two years).

Amendment of conditions of use

Rijkswaterstaat reserves the right to amend and update these conditions of use as and when necessary.

Queries and complaints

If you have any queries or complaints about the account and/or the messages service, please contact the BICS help desk (

Disputes and governing law

Any dispute between the parties regarding these conditions of use will be submitted exclusively to the competent court in the district of The Hague.

These conditions of use are governed by Dutch law.