Signs and Marking for European Waterways CEVNI

The Code Européen des Voies de la Navigation Intérieure (CEVNI; European Code for Navigation on Inland Waterways) is the European code for rivers, canals and lakes in most of Europe.

Not all European countries use CEVNI for their inland waterways. The United Kingdom, the Nordic countries, Spain, Italy and the Balkans except Croatia have their own regulations.

CEVNI contains the core uniform rules applicable to the traffic on inland waterways, such as visual signs on vessels, sound signals and radiotelephony, waterway signs and markings, rules of the road, berthing rules, and prevention of pollution of water and disposal of waste.

Prohibitory Signs

(Boards, flags or lights)

  1. No entry (general sign).
  2. Two boards, lights or flags, one above the other, indicate a prolonged prohibition.

No entry, except for small engineless crafts.

No overtaking.

No overtaking of convoys by convoys.

No passing or overtaking.

No berthing (i.e. no anchoring or making fast to the bank).

No anchoring or trailing of anchors, cables or chains.

No making fast to the bank.

No turning.

Do not create wash.

No passing outside the area marked (in openings of bridges or weirs).

Entry prohibited, but prepare to get under way.

Motorised craft prohibited.

All sports or pleasure craft prohibited.

Water skiing prohibited.

Sailing vessels prohibited.

Rowing boats prohibited (All craft other than motorised vessels or sailing craft prohibited).

Informative Signs

(Boards or lights)
Entry permitted (general sign).

Overhead cable crossing.

Ferry-boat not moving independently.

Berthing (i.e. anchoring or making fast to the bank) permitted.

Anchoring or trailing of anchors, cables or chains permitted.

Making fast to the bank permitted.

Turning area.

The waterways being approached are considered to be tributaries of this waterway.

This waterway is considered to be a tributary of the waterway being approached.

End of a prohibition or obligation applying to traffic in one direction only, or end of a restriction

Drinking water outlet.

Telephone booth reserved for river traffic.

Motor vessels permitted.

Sport or pleasure craft permitted.

Water skiing permitted.

Sailing vessels permitted.

Craft other than motorised vessels or sailing craft permitted.

Mandatory Signs

Proceed in the direction shown by the arrow.

Move to the side of the channel on your port or starboard side.

Keep to the side of the channel on your port or starboard side.

Cross channel to port or starboard.

Stop as prescribed in the Regulations.

Do not exceed the speed indicated (in km/h).

Give a sound signal.

Keep a particulary sharp lookout.

Restrictive Signs

Depth of water limited

Headroom limited.

Width of passage or channel limited.

There are restrictions on navigation: make enquiries.

The channel lies at a distance from the right (left) bank; the figure shown on the sign indicates the distance in metres, measured from the sign, to which vessels should keep.

Recommendatory Signs

(Signals marks or lights)

  1. Recommended channel in both directions.
  2. Recommended channel only in the direction indicated (passage in the opposite direction prohibited).

You are recommended to keep within the area indicated (in openings of bridges or weirs).

  1. You are recommended to proceed in the direction shown by the arrow.
  2. You are recommended to proceed in the direction from the fixed light towards the isophase light.

Auxiliary Signs

Luminous white arrow combined with a red lights mean : No entry to the basin to which the arrow is pointing.

useful downloads:

UNEC CEVNI European Code for Inlands Waterways
Adobe Acrobat Document 4.9 MB
ECE CEVNI European Code for Inland Waterways
Adobe Acrobat Document 10.3 MB

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