A new scheme to reduce pollution and prevent overcrowding on the waterways of Amsterdam now requires most boats transiting the city to purchase a vignette.

Costing €40 and valid for three years, the charge applies to all Amsterdam waterways – including the Standing Mast Route used by hundreds of boats each year – with the exception of a few major waterways such as the Nordzeekanaal and Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal.

The vignette (doorvaartvignet) is a credit card type device containing a ‘chip’ to identify the boat, which must be ordered online before entering the waterways and can be collected at various locations in Amsterdam upon arrival.

Although summary information on the scheme is available in English here, the major snag is that the online application can at present only be completed in Dutch, which presents a problem for most foreign boaters.

The CA’s European Inland Waterways Section (EIWS) has helped decipher the application process with a 13-page guidance note explaining the fine details of the scheme and providing step-by-step translations of the numerous online pages to be navigated when ordering and paying for the vignette. Members and non-members can download the EIWS guidance note free of charge.

About the EIWS

There are almost 30,000km of rivers and canals in mainland Europe. CA members have been enjoying them safely for decades, using the shared knowledge and experience available through the EIWS. CA members can tap into the hundreds of years of collective experience of the EIWS community, including free downloads of thirty cruising guides and information sheets, events and socials.

Non-members can read more about the EIWS community here.

The EIWS produces two cruising guides dedicated to the inland waterways of the Netherlands, both of which are available for members to download free of charge and include links to CAptain’s Mate and other online resources. Non-members can purchase the CA Cruising Guides in PDF or print format from the CA online shop.