Inland shipping vessels in Terneuzen lock have to notify North Sea Port before entering Canal

Published on Tue 29 Oct 2019
From 1 November 2019, inland shipping vessels that wish to sail up the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal via the lock in Terneuzen are required to submit notification to North Sea Port. This will both simplify services and increase security. Rijkswaterstaat was previously responsible for this task.

The notification applies to the entire Ghent-Terneuzen Canal – in other words both the Dutch and the Flemish parts – as well as the side harbours/docks in the port area. As soon as an inland shipping vessel has entered the lock of Terneuzen, they must announce their arrival to North Sea Port Harbour Master’s Service rather than Rijkswaterstaat using channel 78 of the maritime radio telephone.

National border is blurring

Notification via channel 78 of the maritime radio telephone has been in effect for several years in the Flemish portion of the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal. The notification is new, in other words, for those wishing to pass through the Terneuzen lock and into the Dutch portion of the Canal. Until now, notification at the border was necessary only to sail into the Flemish portion. The new procedure effectively serves to blur the border between Belgium and the Netherlands for inland skippers.

What's more, skippers will need to submit notification only once, upon arrival. The requirement to submit notification of their departure – either when leaving the area or upon arrival at the destination – will no longer apply.

Greater simplicity and safety

For years, Rijkswaterstaat took responsibility for handling these notifications on behalf of North Sea Port. As a fusion port, North Sea Port is in a position to offer inland vessel operators, shipping companies and businesses along the entire length of the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal greater simplicity and uniformity, without deploying any additional resources. This new way of working will also enhance both insight into vessel movement and safety in the port area. Each year, nearly 50,000 inland shipping vessels pass through the lock at Terneuzen on their way to a company quay or a berth or before continuing their journey on towards Northern France.

More information

For questions about the new notification method, please contact us by e-mail at, by phone on +32 (0)9 251 04 57 or via the registration inland shipping page.