European Unique Hull Identification Number for Inland Navigation
AbstractTo enable efficient management of inland navigation processes,specialized information systems should be developedthrough the application of modern information and communicationtechnology (ICT). For this purpose, individual Europeanwaterway and port authorities have developed their ownlocal information systems and databases. Due to the non-conformityof these databases, their integration at the Europeanlevel is confronted with selious problems (COMPRIS, 2003).One of the major problems is the lack of a common Europeanunique identification number for inland barges. For this reason,in some locally managed databases several different identificationnumbers are attributed to one and the same inlandbarge or certain identification numbers are not available. Thesame problem occurs in the communication between waterwayautholities and between waterway and port authorities. Therefore,a unique identification number for all floating objects onthe European waterways should be introduced. At the momentthere are only two official numbers for vessels. The first, the!MO number, introduced in 1978, is only used by maritimevessels. The second, the OFS number (Official Ship Number),is used only for vessels that have a Rhine patent (issued by theCCNR). The OFS number cannot satisfy all the requirementsof RIS Directive 2005/44/EC and the amendment to Directive82/714/EEC on technical requirements for inland navigationvessels in the enlarged European Union. The fact is that only20% of the ranges of codes are reserved for the non-Rhinecountries. A special Electronic Reporting International group(ER!) was appointed to formulate a new system for uniqueidentification of inland vessels and also define a databasemodel for vessel characteristics. The initial suggestion of ERIwas to add one character in front of the OFS number in orderto increase its coding capacity. The intention was to make asfew as possible differences/modifications to the system currentlyused under the regime of the Rhine Vessel InspectionRegulations in order to minimize the administrative efforts ofharmonization. As members of the ER! group, we made a proposalfor such a new identification number (the so calledERN), which was discussed by the ERI expert group takinginto account the input from the Joint Working Group ofCCNR and EC. In this paper, we will desclibe our proposal toER!, which was later slightly modified within a special ER! expertgroup.
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