The Inland Waterways Fund (IWF) was established at Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego in 2003. Its purpose is to support inland waterway transport through the provision of financial support for modernisation of the shipping fleet as well as other projects related to the restructuring of inland navigation, including projects designed to improve environmental protection and the safety of navigation.
In 2019, a new law became effective, which changed the way the fund operated before, extended the catalogue of eligible beneficiaries of the fund, and introduced new payout titles. The new law, just like the previous regulation, did not specify any time frame for the operation of the Inland Waterways Fund.
The Inland Waterways Fund implements the “Strategy for Responsible Development until 2020 (with an outlook until 2030)” adopted by the Council of Ministers, which assumes a shift from the existing support for all sectors/industries towards supporting strategic sectors that can become the drivers of Polish economy. This will make it more innovative and facilitate efficient use of physical and human potential.
Inland water transport is considered to be the most environmentally friendly, given the low energy consumption and low emissions of air pollutants (generated directly and indirectly) and carbon dioxide per tonne of cargo carried. Thus, the development of inland waterway transport contributes to protecting the climate and improving air quality.
The main source of the fund’s financing are subsidies from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.