ES-TRIN What is it and where does it apply?

Published: 23 November 20

Written by Principle Surveyor at Morbihan Yacht Survey, Damian Likely. 


Whilst primarily aimed at commercial craft it is applicable to private vessels which are equal to or over 20 m length or equal or greater than 100 m3 displaced volume.

The standard provides rules and regulations for the operation of vessels on the inland waterways of Europe. It came into force in November 2018 and was the replacement for the previous standard termed TRIVW.

In essence it is a boat MOT to ensure all systems are in good order with an adequate level of safety equipment and safety measures for all aboard and covers most aspects of the crafts operation.

Over and above the regulations of ES-TRIN there is the requirement to adhere to local rules enforced in a particular country. Further to this, regulatory requirements are different dependant on which waters the vessel in question wishes to operate. All inland waterways are assigned a zone and the right to navigate in each zone any craft applying for certification must adhere to the requirements of the zone in which the vessel is to navigate.

The rules, whilst daunting at first sight, are in the realm of common sense. The rules were initially developed for commercial craft of which the private pleasure vessel regulations are but a subset.

This has resulted in some being somewhat overbearing for a private use vessel. Having said that, a number of regulations applicable to pleasure craft tend to be irrelevant purely to the mode of usage of the vessel and scales of equipment aboard.

For example; with primary propulsion below 225 kW a number of requirements do not have to be met.

In essence for a new build compliance should not be a complicated procedure though some greater thought may be required for conversions.

Up until December 2019 there were allowances made for older vessels on the understanding that if they had remained in compliance and held a valid certificate issued under earlier forms of the regulations, they could continue to be certified despite failing in respect of newly introduced regulations.

If the certificate has been allowed to lapse, this allowance no longer applies.

Thus: a vessel which is to be newly certified or has allowed its old certificate to lapse must adhere to all rules, as in force at the time of the certificate’s issuance. The rules are constantly evolving and thus keeping certification current is important; more so in older and/ or converted vessels.

It should also be noted that there are several which are causes of contention with ongoing discussions as to whether to enforce or to alter.

The process by which the certification is obtained is slightly different dependant on the country in which the application is made.

In France a survey is performed by an independent surveyor and a report and associated supporting material, submitted to the relevant Direction Départementale des Territoires (DDT); all paperwork must be submitted in French and includes an application for certification from the owner or a representative of the vessel with an earliest inspection date.

In other member states; independent surveying bodies are giving the mandate for inspection and issuance of the certificate.

The process by which and the requirements of how one is assessed as suitable to conduct such surveys in France is undergoing review at this time with more stringent rules being expected in due course.


If any further information is required please do feel free to contact Damian at Morbihan Yacht Survey

Email: office: 0033(0)9 50 47 96 38 or direct to my mobile: 0033(0) 6 52 84 03 96

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