NtS

Expert Groups > NtS

National and local fairway authorities have the obligation to inform users about issues regarding the waterway that might influence safety and accessibility. Notices to Skippers communicate for example the status of the inland waterway infrastructure (i.e. bridges and locks), failures of aids to navigation, temporarily blockages of waterway sections or other types of infrastructure, works, water level and water depth information ice information and weather messages. The international standard for Notices to Skippers provides a standardized data format, which can be used both for publishing Notices on the internet (pull-services) or for distribution by e-mail (push services).


NtS Expert Group


The Expert Group Notices to Skippers Expert (NtS) is an international platform that ensures a harmonized development of the Notices to Skippers standard in the different international organisations. The NtS Expert Group adapts periodically the standard to technical developments and users requirements. The Expert Group submit proposals to the European Commission, the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine, the Danube Commission, the Mosel Commission, the Sava Commission, the UN/ECE and other interested international organisations for formalisation.

Moreover, the NtS Expert Group supports, advises and gives input to the European RIS platform and the CCNR working group regarding a harmonized implementation of Notices to Skippers when requested and on its own initiative.


NtS standard

NNotices to Skippers standard is an international standard for the distribution of notices to skippers on inland shipping routes as established by the Commission Regulation (EC) 416/2007 of 22 March 2007. It concerns the technical specifications for Notices to Skippers as referred to in Article 5 of Directive 2005/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised river information services (RIS) on inland waterways in the Community with the objective to support the safety of navigation and voyage planning.

Notices to Skippers provide the facility to issue the following messages in a standardized format:
  • Fairway and traffic related message consists of a notice, which provides information about a fairway section or an object.
  • Water level related message consists of a notice, which provides information on the water level, the least sounded depth, the vertical clearance, the barrage status, the discharge, the regime, the predicted water level, the least sounded predicted depth or the predicted discharge.
  • Ice message consists of a notice, which provides information on the ice situation.
  • Weather related message consists of a notice, which provides information on the weather situation. (The states are not required to provide weather data.)

The international Standard for Notices to Skippers provides a standardized data format, which can be used for publishing notices to skippers on the internet (pull-services) or for distribution by e-mail (push services).

The content of the messages is encoded in a machine readable XML-file. This file can be used by software applications like voyage planning or Inland ECDIS on board of a vessel or by internet sites. The encoded information can be used directly for calculations, as for example in voyage planning, or be translated to the language of the user and displayed. The reference tables of the standard contain 21 languages of the member countries of the European Union, and additional 3 languages, namely Croatian, Serbian, and Russian language, and guarantee, that a skipper is able to read and understand the notices to skippers for all the major European waterways (facilitating safety of navigation). The NtS web-service solution enables language-independent exchange of information between countries for the sake of information provision to the end-users.


Click on the link here below to download the last version of the NtS standards
NtS public documents

Click on the link Public NtS documents to find more downloadable NtS documents

Contact: christoph.plasil(at)viadonau.org