How does EBIS work?
EBIS organisation chart
EBIS Compliance with the GDPR
EBIS, the European Barge Inspection Scheme, started operations on 1st July 1998. The Scheme has been developed by oil and chemical companies as part of their commitment to improving the safety of tanker barging operations. Barging is an important means of distributing oil and chemical products within Europe and well run barges play an important part in reducing the risk of accidents or pollution. The main aim of EBIS is to exchange objective safety and quality data on tank barges, of which an EBIS Member company may consider the use or the reception at its terminal.How did it start?
Increasing emphasis on Health, Safety and Environment issues led oil and chemical companies to examine ways to reduce the risks associated with their barging operations and minimise the risk of substandard vessels being chartered or arriving at their marine terminals. Companies employing barges were increasingly introducing a variety of barge inspection and assessment arrangements.
Recognising the advantages of adopting a co-ordinated scheme for Europe similar to those already operating for seagoing oil and chemical tankers, several oil and chemical companies worked together to develop a common system for the benefit of the industry. This co-operation became the European Barge Inspection Scheme - EBIS.
EBIS members alone have access to the inspection data held on the database.
EBIS identified three areas for co-operation:
- a common questionnaire to be used for barge inspections
- trained and accredited inspectors
- a central database of inspection reports accessible to EBIS Members
The questionnaire is a set of objective questions to be asked during the inspection of a barge. It is available in four languages, Dutch, English, French and German and can be viewed and downloaded from this website. The inspector who carries out the inspection must have the required qualifications. This means he has successfully attended an EBIS training course and examination, which resulted in an EBIS accreditation. The answers to the questionnaire together with the inspectors' and bargemasters' comments are entered in a central database, administered by PHAROX in Rotterdam (NL).
The bargeowner receives a copy of the report and has the right to make comments on it. These comments are attached to the report. After 7 days each EBIS Member can access the report and analyse it, to decide whether or not the barge is suitable for that individual Member Company's use.
EBIS inspection reports are and remain under all circumstances property of the EBIS organisation. They shall not be disclosed by an EBIS member, a ship owner or any other person/organisation that has access to the reports to any third party. A breach of this rule could lead to legal action.
Approval of a barge is a matter for the individual Member Company alone.Membership
Any company which, in the normal course of business, is engaged in the chartering of barges for the carriage of crude oil, liquid petroleum products (including liquefied petroleum gases), petrochemicals or other chemicals on European inland waterways may express its wish to become a member by submitting an application in writing.
Membership of EBIS will give you the facility to review previous EBIS inspections of barges you are interested in. It will also give you the opportunity to make arrangements with EBIS inspectors to do inspections on your behalf.
As a pre-condition for joining EBIS, you will need to provide details of any barges which your company actually own or operate. In case you own barges which operate in Europe being a member of EBIS gives you access to confidential information of other owners and how their barges are operating. In this situation an extended review of your membership request will be undertaken which include the particular circumstances involved and this review may lead to the request for membership being declined.
The fee for a new member to join EBIS is € 3,500 and the yearly subscription fee is € 3,000 but this is prorated down from the date you join.
There is a commitment for members to inspect a certain number of barges per calendar year. This number depends upon the number of individual barges employed by the member. This includes but is not limited to, Voyage Chartered, Time Chartered, COA, Vessels Loading or Discharging at your owned / contracted terminal or Leased storage where you have product or are receiving product. The number of inspections a member must conduct is calculated by the administrators of the system, Pharox. The inspection is paid for by the member and a ball park figure is approx. € 450 per inspection.
For those new members joining who do not conduct their own vetting activity but will be using 3rd party vetting services, EBIS have had to set up a controlling mechanism to ensure the system is used correctly and this costs a considerable amount of money. In order to be fair to those EBIS members which have in house vetting, the Directors decided to charge an additional fee of € 1,000 per year to those new members who use the 3rd party vetting system.
In order to be able to progress / complete the EBIS ‘new member’ review process can you please complete the “Request for EBIS Membership” ( ) attachment which asks you to confirm that:
- Your organisation do not actually own or operate any vessels / barges.
- Your organisation is engaged in the chartering of barges for the carriage of crude oil, liquid petroleum products (including liquefied petroleum gases), petrochemicals or other chemicals on European inland waterways.
Would you please also include your Company Address and contact details that would be used on the Letter of Accession in case your membership request is progressed?
All questions you might have concerning EBIS membership can be addressed to the EBIS Secretariat through firstname.lastname@example.orgEBIS procedures
EBIS' aim is to have all barges inspected annually.
Each EBIS member agrees to undertake an agreed number of EBIS inspections using an EBIS accredited inspector. When the inspector introduces the report in the EBIS database ,the information will become available for all EBIS members.
The owner/operator is contacted by an EBIS inspector requesting to inspect a particular barge. The inspector will advise which EBIS member has ordered the inspection.
The inspector will carry out the inspection using the EBIS questionnaire which is available in four languages (Dutch, German, French and English). The inspector will record the answers to the questions , note his observations where appropriate and ,if available, the responses of the barge master. On completion of the report in duplicate it will be signed by both the inspector and the master and a copy is left on board (or sent directly to the owner if requested).
The inspector puts his answers to the questions in the EBIS inspection form by means of special software, the EBIS inspector program. When the report is completed, the Inspector submits the report to the database.
The owner has the right to comment on the inspection report. The owners' comment can be introduced into the report via a hyperlink on the EBIS webpage
The report can be blocked in the database for seven days before it is available to EBIS members. This time lapse is to allow owners to submit their comments before a particular barge report is accessed by an EBIS Member and ensures the owners' comments are included. After the arrival of a comment the report is released.
Each barge owner can do an online check to verify if his comment is stored in the database.
To get information out of the database, an access code is required.
Only EBIS members can read the stored inspection reports.
The accredited inspectors have the possibility to see the last inspection dates of a barge, but neither the answers nor the owners' response.