Experimenting with innovative technology is essential to better understand new possibilities they offer shipping and ultimately to allow these technologies to be applied on the waterways. Experience from these experiments contributes to the development of future legislation and regulations. This is the only way we can progress together. Permission from Rijkswaterstaat’s “Smart Shipping desk” is required to conduct an experiment on Dutch inland waters and the territorial sea.

Prepare an experiment

Are you planning to conduct an experiment with automated shipping on Dutch coastal and / or inland waterways? Are you going to apply techniques that can take over navigation tasks from the crew? Then apply for permission online at the Rijkswaterstaat’s “Smart Shipping desk”. Please take a minimum turnaround time of 6 weeks into account.

Request an experiment?  

As soon as an application for an experiment is received bij Rijkwaterstaat, it is reviewed by nautical experts in the area where the experiment is planned, together with traffic management experts and information experts. Together they determine under what conditions, where and when the experiment can take place.

Policy rules for experiments

With the guidelines “Policy rule for experiments on national waterways” and “Policy rule for experiments with far-reaching automated sailing in the territorial sea“, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is opening all waters managed by central government to controlled experiments with smart shipping.

Would you like to discuss your plans with an advisor in advance?

Please contact the Smart Shipping desk of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. By discussing your plans in advance, you can save time and effort in your final application.

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