Gemeenschappelijk Nautisch Beheer (GNB)

The Dutch and Flemish governments co-operate in the Scheldt area to organize smooth and safe shipping traffic to and from ports around the River Scheldt.

Safe shipping traffic protects the environment: people, environment and infrastructure. Smooth shipping traffic contributes to a fast and unrestricted passage to ports.

The agencies are responsible for the use of the fairway by shipping traffic and for management of traffic by means of instruments like:

Nautical co-operation is legally embedded in the


Treaty concerning the Joint Nautical Management (Middelburg 21st of December 2005)

The Treaty forms the pinnacle of nautical co-operation between the Netherlands and Flanders which started in 1839. It is not only the finish but as much the starting point of further reinforcement to the co-operation. With the challenge to further improvement on safety and smoothness levels, despite the increase in the shipping scale.

In the treaty formal agreements were made about:

  • The objectives of the Joint Nautical Management
  • Area of application
  • Duties and assignments of the Permanent Committee
  • Duties and assignments of the Joint
  • Nautical Authority Nautical chain approach