Article title On the Concept of Waterway in Inland Navigation Law of the Danube Countries

Doctor of Law, Doctor of Habilitation Law (Moldau), Professor, Head of the Department of Civil and Labor Law Odessa National Maritime University (Odesa, Ukraine) ORCID ID:  Researcher ID:


Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 2/2020
Сторінки [260-273]

The development of inland water transport for the period till 2030 is contingent on a solid political strategy which it will rest upon and which is supported by sufficient and efficient implementation tools – coordination, investment, and legislation.

An analysis of research results from foreign countries, in particular, law of the Danube countries, engenders the need for a further development of the concept of inland waterway and its statutory representation as an essential component of water transport development. The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On Approval of the List of Inland Waterways Categorized as Navigable” has assigned the Ukrainian part of the Danube (from Reni to Vilkovo, and the Danube-Black Sea channel on the barrier coastline part of the Novostambulske mouth) the status of an inland sea route, but this comes into conflict with the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance. This discrepancy stems from inappropriate scientific and legislative definition of the concept of inland waterway.

The term “inland waterway” was used in the works by pre-revolutionary scientist P. Kazanskij, in works by contemporaries A. Kulko, A. Yefimenko, G. Samoylenko, Ye. Samoylenko, however, without its analysis, outside of the mentioned context and without comparison with law of the Danube countries of Romania, Moldova, and Germany.

The purpose of the article is to make a comparative analysis of the concept of waterway in inland navigation law based on the materials of Ukraine and certain Danube countries and drawing upon the study of its application practice and issues of improvement in the context of the economic situation. This will allow formulating conclusions about the inland waterway concept and proposals for its improvement.

In Ukraine, transportation of goods by inland waterways accounts for 1 % in the structure of transportation by all means of transport, while in the European Union this share is 7 %, in Germany – 12 %, and in Romania – 22 %.

Numerous sources available in Germany – fundamental laws and bulky comments, monographs and scientific articles written on the basis of court cases open up the opportunity for borrowing positive experience accumulated in respect of defining the main concepts of inland navigation law.

A comparative examination of the concept “inland waterway” unveiled the factors which are not contributive to its scientific and legislative definition, or to the growth of inland navigation figures. They blur the boundary between inland navigation law and maritime law and reduce the real share of transportation by particular means of transport. Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania, as parties to a number of multilateral and bilateral international conventions, treaties, and programs, have ample opportunities for joint development of a common approach to and criteria for defining the concept of inland waterway.


Keywords inland navigation law; inland waterway; legal experience of the Danube countries


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