Main  objective of the project

Harmonization of information services to support traffic and transport management in inland navigation in implementation of Directive 2005/44/EC. As an EU member-state Bulgaria has the obligation to develop a RIS system, which is a part of the Trans-European network, in compliance with the technical guidelines for the planning, implementation and operational use of the river information services (RIS) in order to ensure efficient and safe navigation on the inner waterways. 

Specific goals of the project

  • Establishment of Telecommunication infrastructure of the river information system in the Bulgarian part of the Danube River – BULRIS, which should ensure full and permanent data transmission along the entire Bulgarian stretch with no loss of coverage, with a common point the BULRIS building in Ruse.

  • Establishing conditions for interaction with other information systems, servicing the other modes of transport;

  • Construction of a modern building of the river information services center in Bulgaria.

The real-time rendering of river information services is an important condition for the reduction of the risks upon the vessels passing through critical sections of the Danube river thus increasing the level of navigation safety. The system provides for increasing the efficiency of the inland waterways transportation. BULRIS is an important component of the set of measures for the control and prevention of pollution on the largest European river. The use of information technologies in the logistical and transportation processes management is a basic element of the modern transportation chains.

The river information systems (RIS) are navigation systems, servicing ships and institutions, responsible for the traffic management, for the maintenance of the navigable waterway, security of navigation, conservation of the environment, etc. The existing traditional communication between ships and the various navigation servicing shore authorities has been performed by means of a radio contact, telephony, visual surveillance and other traditional methods.

RIS is an environment where modern electronic navigation could be implemented; a common practice in maritime transport. The vessel traffic monitoring system integrated in BULRIS provide real-time information both to the shore authorities and the necessary data to ensure safe navigation of ships: AIS data, radar images and video surveillance with a thermal imaging option. 

  • Updated information on the fairway (waterway) – inland electronic navigational charts, internet applications for notices to skippers, radar systems on the route, navigation planning;

  • Information on the effective legislation – navigation regime on the territory of each of the countries;

  • Waterway hazards / distress alerts;

  • Information on transport and logistics – arrival date; freight type, vessels’ tonnage, etc.;

  • Traffic control – ensures safety and security of navigation and deliveries.

Ensures electronic reports from the ships, surveillance and monitoring of ships, automatic identification system (AIS).

Following the amendments of the Law on the Maritime Spaces, Inland Waterways and Ports of the Republic of Bulgaria, the functions regarding the informational provisioning of navigation were assigned to Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company.

The Ordinance on the Rendering of River Information Services on the Inland Waterways of the Republic of Bulgaria (as amended in 2014) transposes in Bulgarian legislation the provisions of Directive 2005/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of September 7th, 2005 on harmonized river information services (RIS) on the inland waterways of the Community.

Directive 2005/44 / EC requires the implementation of four major RIS key technologies:

  •  Information system for visualization of electronic cards - Inland ECDIS
  •  Electronic ship reporting - ERI
  •  Messages to skippers - NtS
  •  System for locating and tracking of vessels - VTT

Specific elements of the system are Hull Data Base and RIS Index.

In addition, the Directive states that Member States must meet a set of requirements for the minimum amount of data, ie. all relevant data concerning navigation and voyage planning on inland waterways. This is made available in accessible electronic format and contain at least:

  • waterway axis with kilometer indication
  • restrictions for vessels or compositions in terms of length, width, water displacement and height
  • operation times of restricting structures, in particular locks and bridges
  • location of ports and transshipment sites
  • reference data sensors for water level related to shipping

In order to satisfy the above requirements for minimum data, a RIS Index for the work space of ​​the RIS organization should be compiled.

Bulgaria is the first Danubian country with an administrative and operational center for vessel traffic surveillance.

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