Welcome to the BICS website

This website is intended for users of BICS and others involved in Electronic Reporting in inland shipping. Skippers, (inland shipping) companies, waterway managers, RIS technology developers, and other interested parties will find all the information about the Inland Shipping Information and Communication System (BICS) on this site.

Use the menu in the top right corner of the screen to navigate through the website, or quickly navigate to:

Request a BICS account  |  Download BICS  |  BICS helpdesk



Response Messages Are Now Also Being Sent in Belgium

As of June 10, 2024, response messages (ERIRSP) are being sent in Belgium. The sending of response messages is already applicable in the Netherlands and Germany, and now also in Belgium.

This means that BICS voyage notifications addressed to a first reporting point in Belgium will now be confirmed with a response message, just like in the Netherlands and Germany. After correctly sending your voyage notification, BICS will first display the status "Sent", which will then change to "Registered" when your voyage notification is confirmed by the receiving system.

More information about the statuses of voyage notifications in BICS can be found here.

New Version of BICS

Rijkswaterstaat introduces BICS Version 6 as of March 4, 2024 - A Fresh Step into the Future of Inland Shipping Information and Communication

Last year, the Inland Shipping Information and Communication System (BICS) celebrated its 25th anniversary, and in honor of this, Rijkswaterstaat, in collaboration with Bureau Telematica Binnenvaart, has given the user interface of BICS a new, more user-friendly look. Over the past year and a half, Rijkswaterstaat has actively engaged skippers in testing the new version, resulting in a valuable collaboration with enthusiastic skippers who provided feedback during the development of this enhanced version.

More information about this new version of BICS can be found here.

BICS Website Undergoes Revitalization

We are pleased to announce that the BICS website has undergone a remarkable transformation with a contemporary new appearance and improved layout. This redevelopment is not only aesthetically appealing but also designed to enhance user navigation and optimize the overall online experience.

In addition to the visual changes, the website has also undergone some functional updates aimed at optimizing the overall user experience. Users are encouraged to explore the revamped website and share feedback with the BICS Helpdesk to support ongoing improvements.

One-time electronic reporting of a voyage from Flanders to the Netherlands will be possible from February 15, 2023.

If you navigate from the Netherlands to Flanders, or vice versa, from February 15, 2023, you only need to report this voyage once. It is no longer necessary to electronically resend at the border. This simplification of administrative procedures is the result of close collaboration between the Flemish Waterway Managers and Rijkswaterstaat.

Starting from February 15, 2023, the travel and cargo data reported prior to the voyage through reporting software, such as BICS, will be directly shared with the relevant partners. "This ensures efficient data exchange and eliminates redundant work for the skipper. We have received feedback from the industry that electronic reporting at the border between Flanders and the Netherlands can be frustrating, especially because internet connectivity can be unreliable at those locations. We are proud that we have been able to implement this adjustment," said Karin Valkenier, project leader at Rijkswaterstaat.

More Efficient Handling

Since this adjustment, the data in Flanders is also directly shared with the waterway managers along the ship's route via the eRIBa platform. However, Jan Gilissen, RIS application manager at De Vlaamse Waterweg nv, emphasizes that this is dependent on the condition that the skipper provides at least two route points through the reporting software. This approach ensures a more efficient handling of the advance notification at the infrastructure works and contributes to smooth and accurate invoicing.

Smooth Sailing

"Starting from February 15, 2023, we will initiate this exchange. As a skipper, you don't need to do anything extra, except for one-time electronic reporting when you depart on your voyage. During the startup period, we are particularly curious about the experiences of all the involved partners. We hope that this initiative means even smoother sailing for everyone," said Valkenier.

What does this mean for BICS?

If you have set up the automatic resending of voyages between Antwerp and the Netherlands in BICS, please remove this automatic reseding as soon as possible. Instructions on how to remove automatic resending can be found here.

Reporting Special Transports with BICS

If your ship's voyage involves a special transport, it must be electronically reported in accordance with Article 1.21 of the Rhine Navigation Police Regulations. The BICS software can be used to fulfill this electronic reporting requirement. When electronically reporting special transports, there may be unique situations due to the composition of the sailing unit. This instruction card describes these situations and provides instructions for reporting such voyages using BICS.

Automatically Reporting ETA at Terneuzen Locks

If you want your ETA to be automatically reported when you specify Terneuzen Locks as a waypoint during your voyage, you can refer to this manual. This manual provides detailed information on how to configure your BICS to automatically send an ETA notification at Terneuzen Locks in such cases.

Expansion of the Target Group for Electronic Reporting Obligation as of December 1, 2021

Starting from December 1, 2021, there is an electronic reporting obligation for the data that was previously reportable via VHF radio, in writing, or electronically based on Article 12.01 of the Rhine Navigation Police Regulations (RPR). This obligation, which until the mentioned date only applied to convoys and vessels carrying containers, as well as vessels with fixed tanks on board, is now expanded to the following types of ships:

  • Vessels falling under Article 12.01, first paragraph, section a of the RPR, transporting goods subject to the ADN (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways).
  • Vessels falling under Article 12.01, first paragraph, section d of the RPR and having a length of more than 110 meters.
  • Hotel ships falling under Article 12.01, first paragraph, section e of the RPR.
  • Sea vessels falling under Article 12.01, first paragraph, section f of the RPR.
  • Vessels falling under Article 12.01, first paragraph, section g of the RPR and having an LNG system on board.
  • Special transports as described in Article 1.21 of the RPR, as mentioned in Article 12.01, first paragraph, section h of the RPR.

To comply with this electronic reporting obligation, you can use the BICS software.