Joint Task Force

Expert Groups > Joint Task Force

In June 2011, the Joint Task Force has been established under the auspices of the Expert Group Notices to Skippers. The Joint Task Force has at least the following tasks:

  • to advise the European Commission on the formalisation of the RIS index and the minimum objects list,
  • to improve the RIS index encoding guide
  • to safeguard the quality and consistency of the RIS index.
In its work it will include activities on the RIS index related to the activities of all four expert groups.

The Directive 2005/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on harmonised river information services (RIS) on inland waterways in the Community describes in its Annex I the “minimum data requirements” in order to supply to RIS users all relevant data concerning navigation and voyage planning on inland waterways. These data shall be provided at least in an accessible electronic format. (Article 4(3)(a)) in particular the following data shall be supplied:
  • waterway axis with kilometre indication,
  • restrictions for vessels or convoys in terms of length, width, draught and air draught,
  • operation times of restricting structures, in particular locks and bridges,
  • location of ports and transhipment sites,
  • reference data for water level gauges relevant to navigation.
The RIS index has been established and created to collect these data in one Excel file per country. However, currently there is no sound legal basis on EU-level.

Several constraints have to be taken into consideration with regard to the RIS index:
  • currently there is no sound legal basis on EU-level about the RIS index,
  • there is a common understanding that the RIS index is of high importance and a precondition to interconnect applications/devices/solutions of the four RIS key technologies,
  • several countries have been producing and maintaining their RIS index,
  • several related documents have been elaborated in the PLATINA project with the involvement of the chairpersons of the four expert groups and other experts which serve as inputs for the Joint Task Force,
  • there are external constraints that that are not under the influence of the Joint Task Force (e.g. availability of UN location codes etc.).