Police regulations on navigation on the Moselle River (RPNM, from the French) allow for the granting of priority locking rights.
Operators or owners of passenger craft may be granted such rights by filing an application and paying a tax within the prescribed time period.
Who is concerned
Operators or owners of passenger craft undertaking recognised regular transport, under an operating permit, can enjoy priority locking rights.
Priority locking rights may be granted to:
- vessels which, due to the nature of their load or for safety reasons, need to transit locks quickly;
- vessels undertaking salvage or other emergency operations;
- boats carrying at least 100 passengers which operate a regular service.
The schedule of priority lockings can be viewed online.
Applications for priority locking rights may be filed from the 3rd Monday in November of the year preceding the lock transit. Applications are processed in order of receipt.
How to proceed
Filing an application
The application must state:
- the surname, first name, capacity and address of the applicant if they are a natural person. If the application is filed by a legal person, it must state the company name, purpose and corporate headquarters of the legal person, as well as the surnames, first names, capacity, address and powers of the person signing the application and, where applicable, the contact details of the person or persons authorised to represent the legal person in dealings with the administration;
- the transport timetable, including an indication of locking times;
- the specifications of the passenger craft.
The application or a modification must be sent, with proof of payment of the tax, to the Department of Navigation (Service de la navigation):
- either by ordinary post, to Department of Navigation, PO Box 8, L-6701 Grevenmacher;
- or by email to email@example.com.
An up-to-date schedule of priority lockings will be published and available to view online.
The amount of the tax is determined as follows:
- EUR 50: file opening charge, payable per vessel and per season, upon filing of an application for priority locking;
- EUR 30: charge, payable per vessel, for modifications to authorised priority lockings.
The tax must be paid by bank transfer to the following account: IBAN LU76 1111 0007 7596 0000, Indirect Tax Authority, Diekirch office, including the following mandatory information: Department of Navigation, Name of applicant, Charge for issuing / modification of a permit, priority locking, name of vessel, year.
Use of the permit
The priority-locking permit grants the beneficiary vessel the right to transit locks ahead of other vessels, as soon as it is sighted by the lock staff at the site of the RPNM Annex 7 C4 sign and its supplement.
In addition to the general signage, vessels with priority locking rights must fly a red pennant on the bow, high enough to be clearly visible.
Priority locking rights may be revoked or modified at any time, notably for reasons of safety and fluidity of waterway traffic, or for proper operation of the waterway. In such cases, permit holders are not entitled to any compensation.
The authorisation ceases to be valid if any one of the conditions to which it is subject is not fulfilled or ceases to be fulfilled.
In the event of the cancellation or modification of planned journeys, the staff at the locks in question must be informed as soon as possible.
If priority locking rights have not been exercised on more than 2 occasions, without prior notification, the priority rights may be revoked and the publication modified to reflect this; in this instance, a one-off fee will be payable. The priority locking rights would then have to be granted anew, and the operator would have to pay the charge for the opening of that new file.