The [European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance] (AGN) will enter into force on 26 July 1999. This international Agreement, identifies the main international inland waterway links in Europe and establishes uniform infrastructure and operational parameters to which they should conform. The international inland waterways network defined in the Agreement covers around 28,000 km of main navigable rivers and canals and about 350 ports of international importance extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural mountains and connecting 37 countries in Europe and beyond. It also includes coastal routes. Nine European countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Netherlands, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland have so far become Parties to the AGN, thereby committing themselves to the development of the parts of the inland waterway network in their territories according to the uniform conditions agreed upon in the Agreement and in the context of their own investment programmes.
The [Protocol on Combined Transport on Inland Waterways] to the [European Agreement on Important International Combined Transport Lines and Related Installations] (AGTC) provides a multilateral legal framework for promoting the use of combined transport techniques (containers, swap-bodies, semi-trailers, trucks) on European inland waterways and coastal routes. It will enhance international coordination and cooperation in planning and setting of priorities for the development of a coherent European combined transport system and infrastructures using the extensive European inland waterways network and coastal routes as well as related ports. The Protocol will enter into force after 5 States have ratified it. Three States (Czech Republic, Denmark and Switzerland) had ratified it at the end of 1998; 13 States had signed it.