The Danube waterway connects 10 countries, that are partly in the Schengen Area (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia) or are not yet part of it (Romania, Bulgaria) as well as non-members states of the EU (Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine).

Given the fact that Danube navigation is faced with fierce competition and considerable administrative effort, the reduction of additional costs caused by unpredictable and long-winded border controls can be a major contribution to support a modal shift towards inland waterways.

The Manual on border controls along the Danube (4th edition 2023, 25 MB) offers a concise and easy to read overview on 49 control points at EU and Schengen borders in seven Danube riparian countries. It 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.

Besides providing valuable information the manual will serve as a basis for discussion between control authorities and is considered as a step towards harmonised and efficient control procedures.

The manual's main objectives are to

  • ensure time-efficient controls for involved skippers and control authorities by providing an overview on the control processes applied along the different control points
  • raise awareness for the steps skippers have to undergo at control points including the control documents which have to be provided
  • reduce disadvantages caused by lack of information and facilitate market entry for newcomers
  • provide a basis for harmonising control procedures along the whole Danube River

The practical manual results from joint efforts of the two priority areas of the European Strategy for the Danube Region dealing with inland navigation (Priority Area 1a) and security (Priority Area 11). Further Information on the working group can be found here. Contents were provided by the control authorities themselves.

You can download the Manual (4th edition 2023, 25 MB) here.