Maps - CEVNI - Canal du Midi history

Signs and Marking for European Waterways

Here is an overview of the waterway sign, signals and markings for the canals and rivers in France as found in the CEVNI (Code Européen des Voies de la Navigation Intérieure), European Code for Interior Navigation.




Prohibitory Signs

A001A1(Boards, flags or lights)
  1. No entry (general sign).
  2. Two boards, lights or flags, one above the other, indicate a prolonged prohibition.
F002 No entry, except for small engineless crafts.
A002A2No overtaking.
A003A3No overtaking of convoys by convoys.
A004A4No passing or overtaking.
A005A5No berthing (i.e. no anchoring or making fast to the bank).
A006A6No anchoring or trailing of anchors, cables or chains.
A007A7No making fast to the bank.
A008A8No turning.
A009A9Do not create wash.
A010A10No passing outside the area marked (in openings of bridges or weirs).
A011A11Entry prohibited, but prepare to get under way.
A012A12Motorized craft prohibited.
A013A13All sports or pleasure craft prohibited.
A014A14Water skiing prohibited.
A015A15Sailing vessels prohibited.
A016A16Rowing boats prohibited (All craft other than motorized vessels or sailing craft prohibited).



Mandatory Signs

B001B1Proceed in the direction shown by the arrow.
B002B2Move to the side of the channel on your port or starboard side.
B003B3Keep to the side of the channel on your port or starboard side.
B004B4Cross channel to port or starboard.
B005B5Stop as prescribed in the Regulations.
B006B6Do not exceed the speed indicated (in km/h).
B007B7Give a sound signal.
B008B8Keep a particulary sharp lookout.
 B10Lights signalling boats leaving harbour or tributary waterway.



Restrictive Signs

C001C1Depth of water limited
C002C2Headroom limited.
C003C3Width of passage or channel limited.
C004C4There are restrictions on navigation: make enquiries.
C005C5The channel lies at a distance from the right (left) bank; the figure shown on the sign indicates the distance in metres, measured from the sign, to which vessels should keep.



Recommendatory Signs

D001D1(Signals marks or lights)
  1. Recommended channel in both directions.
  2. Recommended channel only in the direction indicated (passage in the opposite direction prohibited).
D002D2You are recommended to keep within the area indicated (in openings of bridges or weirs).
  1. You are recommended to proceed in the direction shown by the arrow.
  2. You are recommended to proceed in the direction from the fixed light towards the isophase light.



Informative Signs

E001E1(Boards or lights)
Entry permitted (general sign).
E002E2Overhead cable crossing.
E004E4Ferry-boat not moving independently.
E005E5Berthing (i.e. anchoring or making fast to the bank) permitted.
E006E6Anchoring or trailing of anchors, cables or chains permitted.
E007E7Making fast to the bank permitted.
E008E8Turning area.
E009E9The waterways being approached are considered to be tributaries of this waterway.
E010E10This waterway is considered to be a tributary of the waterway being approached.
E011E11End of a prohibition or obligation applying to traffic in one direction only, or end of a restriction.
E013E13Drinking water outlet.
E014E14Telephone booth reserved for river traffic.
E015E15Motor vessels permitted.
E016E16Sport or pleasure craft permitted.
E017E17Water skiing permitted.
E018E18Sailing vessels permitted.
E019E19Craft other than motorized vessels or sailing craft permitted.



Auxiliary Signs

F001 Luminous white arrow combined with a red lights mean : No entry to the basin to which the arrow is pointing.

To refresh your memory

Small craftunder 20 m in length
Normal craftover 20 m in length
Give waysmall craft usually give way to normal craft
Right bankon the right when proceeding downstream
Left bankon the left when proceeding downstream
WaterwaysClass 1 are rivers
Class 2 are canals and lakes


You can download a copy of the CEVNI code in pdf format from the UNECE web site.