WG 6 - Administrative processes

WG 6 - Administrative processes

Reference Actions of the EUSDR Action Plan
(European Commission's Document SEC(2010) 1489, December 2010):

 "To combat institutional capacity and public service related problems in the Danube region"
 "To improve the trust of citizens and stakeholders in political authorities"
 "To ensure sufficient information flow and exchange at all levels"
 "To facilitate the administrative cooperation of communities living in border regions"


When the EUSDR started in 2011, a dedicated Working Group on administrative processes was not foreseen. But as early as 2013 a first meeting took place and the topic became increasingly important since then. Within the broad field of administrative processes which vessel operators have to manage, border controls have always been a main source of delays and additional costs for inland waterway transport on the multinational Danube River. In order to ensure the freedom of movement of persons and goods as foreseen in the EU treaties harmonised, simple and time-efficient control processes need to be in place at the EU and Schengen borders.

A good cooperation between PA1a and PA11 - Security has been established and is an ongoing process, which has in view the

  • simplification,
  • harmonisation and
  • digitalisation of control procedures.


Activities  of  Working  Group  6  -  Administrative  processes

Survey  among  shipping  companies  /  vessel  operators  at  border  crossings

Help us to improve administrative procedures!
By filling out the feedback form you can support us to improve border control procedures. The problems you identify and improvements you suggest will help us to enter future discussions with solid arguments and give us a mandate to initiate necessary measures.

The feedback form is available in the following languages: EN | BG | DE | HR | HU | NL | RS | RO
Altogether 177 questionaires have been filled out between November 2014 and May 2015. They were analysed to retrieve results and the conclusions are described in a report, which was brought to the attention of the involved control authorities and decision-makers at the EU-level.

Control processes at 19 different border control points along the Danube have been evaluated. The vast majority of feedback forms referred to controls conducted by Romanian authorities, but the most meaningful feedback was received for Mohács, where the number of forms and the language variety was the highest.

The most pressing issue identified in the survey was the need to reduce waiting times as well as the duration of controls. A simplified and harmonized set of forms should be used throughout all the involved authorities and countries. On top of that, there should be a possibility to submit requested information electronically, prior to the control. But also a respectful interaction with the controlled skippers, crew and passengers was demanded.

Full report: Results of the survey on border controls along the Danube and its navigable tributaries
Summary: Summarized results of the survey on border controls along the Danube and its navigable tributaries

Practical  manual  on  border  controls

The practical manual contains general information on control modalities in each country including steps to be followed by captains and crew members as well as the forms to be filled. Furthermore, locations of control points, contact details and opening hours of all involved control authorities are listed. The manual has the potential to facilitate the market entry of newcomers and to reduce disadvantages caused by lack of information. 

The publication aims at comparing procedures in the Danube region and providing a basis for harmonisation along the whole river. Harmonisation is urgently required: During our research we came across about 50 border control documents to be filled out in the Danube riparian states. Control procedures vary to a large extent even in the EU member states and opening hours of control points range from very restrictive to 24/7 service.

The publication is based on a joint effort of Priority Area 1a of the European Strategy for the Danube Region which is concerned with further developing inland waterways and Priority Area 11 which aims at enhancing transnational cooperation to improve security and to tackle serious and organised crime.

Full report: Practical manual on border controls along the Danube and its navigable tributaries – 3rd edition (10 KB)

We appreciate your feedback on the manual and welcome any improvements you may suggest (PA1a@viadonau.org).

Recommendations  for  improved  border  controls  along  the  Danube  and  its  navigable  tributaries

The recommendations jointly developed by Priority Area 1a „inland waterways“ and Priority Area 11 „security“ of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region will set impulses for efficient and transparent border control procedures. On their basis the PA1a Technical Secretariat will initiate next steps in cooperation with responsible control authorities and other relevant decision makers.

The recommendations also address shipping companies and vessel operators who are encouraged to bring in their experiences and use the provided information for a better preparation of controls. The implementation of the included work programme will allow to speed up long-winded procedures based on the simplification, harmonisation and digitalisation of controls.

Full report: Recommendations for improved border controls along the Danube and its navigable tributaries