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Under the Federal Mining Act (BBergG, Art. 133), the laying and operation of transit pipelines and transit submarine cables on the German continental shelf in the area of the North and Baltic Seas is subject to approval by the BSH. Approvals are granted upon request.

Approvals are required under the German regulations governing activities in the waters and airspace of the German continental shelf.

Approval procedure:

Applications for approval should be submitted with enclosed documentation describing the type and scope of the project and, in particular, possible impairments of objects of legal protection (life, health, property, public interests). Important public interests are, e.g., the operation and effectiveness of facilities for shipping and aids to navigation, use of shipping routes and airspace, navigation, fisheries, flora and fauna, the laying, operation, and maintenance of submarine cables and pipelines as well as oceanographic and other scientific research, health of the ocean, and the security of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The applications and enclosed documentation are passed on to other agencies involved in the approval process (28 Regional Waterways and Shipping Directorates, Federal Research Centre for Fisheries, Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Naval Support Command, and other cable and pipeline operators) which comment on the project, pointing out in particular any detrimental effects that may result from it.

Approval has to be denied if an impairment of objects of legal protection or of overriding public interests cannot be prevented or compensated by additional provisions in the approval.

After an approval has been granted, the project is subject to supervision by the BSH, which may issue orders to ensure proper implementation if required. Federal officials (of the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration, Federal Border Guard, customs and fisheries supervising authorities) carry out on-site supervision to ensure compliance with the orders.

The additionally required approval covering mining interests is granted by the mining authorities for the following areas:

North Sea:

Landesamt für Bergbau, Energie und Geologie (LBEG)
Postfach 1153
38669 Clausthal-Zellerfeld
Tel: +5323 - 723200
Fax: +5323 - 723258

Baltic Sea:

Bergamt Stralsund
Postfach 11 38
18401 Stralsund
Tel: +3831 - 61210
Fax: +3831 - 612112

Existing pipelines:

The transit pipelines NORPIPE, EUROPIPE I, and EUROPIPE II which have been laid across the German North Sea continental shelf transport natural gas from Norwegian gasfields to Germany. Their landfall points are the Emden and Dornum terminals on the coast of Lower Saxony.

part of a pipeline being mounted  part of a pipeline being mounted next step  ein Verlegefahrzeug bei der Arbeit
Click on the photos for further information

The transit pipelines ZEEPIPE and FRANPIPE crossing the German continental shelf have landfalls in Belgium (Zeebrügge) and France (Dunkirk).

Approved pipelines:

On 28 December 2009, planning approval was granted for the construction and operation of the Baltic Sea pipeline. Nord Stream AG can now start laying the two parallel natural gas high-pressure pipelines on the seabed in the area of the German continental shelf. The pipelines will transport natural gas from Vyborg, near St. Petersburg in Russia, to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Current approval procedures:

The BSH is currently conducting an approval procedure for the „Baltic Gas Interconnect“ project, whose landfall station is planned to be built in Dierhagen.



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If you have any additional questions, please e-mail
Christian Dahlke or phone +49 40 3190 - 3500


More information on the subject:
Submarine cables
Wind farms
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 © 2018 Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie Last Update: 14-Oct-2013 15:32:17  
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