The FOT and the shipping in Switzerland – full speed ahead
Navigation plays an important role in tourism and excursion traffic. The approx. 150 ships of the federally licensed passenger ship companies carry around 12 million passengers every year on Swiss lakes, rivers and boundary waters. Recently, there has been a boom in sport and recreational traffic on Swiss lakes and rivers, so that today about 96,000 licensed sport and recreational boats are active in Switzerland. But shipping also plays a major role in goods transport: around 120 freighters carry about 2,5 million tonnes of material annually on Swiss waters. Rhine shipping is particularly significant.
For national shipping, the FOT is the regulatory body responsible for matters relating to shipbuilding, shipping services and the accreditation of nautical personnel. It also monitors the federally licensed passenger shipping companies, i.e. the scheduled boat services on inland rivers, lakes and trans-border waterways. It checks whether federally licensed shipping companies adhere to the applicable norms and standards. Other shipping is monitored by the cantons. FOT also plays a major role on the international shipping committees for Lake Geneva, Lake Constance and the Ticino lakes, modifying and drawing up agreements.
International shipping agreements are authoritative for passenger and freight services on the Rhine and for deep-sea shipping. FOT representatives are instrumental in modifying and drawing up agreements on international shipping committees. However, the FOT is not responsible for enforcing regulations.