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Flagging in


Flagging or re-flagging of seagoing vessels under the German flag

This information is provided in order to assist in making the registration of vessels under the german flag as easy as possible.

The BSH explains the steps to be taken, including pointing out special regulations with the possibilities of obtaining financial aid in bringing vessels under the German flag. Detailed information is also provided on the registration and re-registration of vessels under the German flag.

Requirements for ballast water management systems for ships flying the German flag

The BSH offers the following fields of activity:

  • Tonnage certificates for flagging in

    A new (German) tonnage certificate for vessels is required not later than three months after registration or re-registration under the German flag.

    More information
  • Certificate for mariners for flagging in

    To qualify for work on board German flagged vessels, marine radio operators with foreign certificates must obtain endorsements of recognition.

    More information
  • ISPS documents for flagging in

    Since 1 July 2004, it has been mandatory for vessels to have ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security code) documentation on board. The ISPS documents of vessels to be re-flagged are checked by the BSH.

    More information
  • Navigation and radiocommunication equipment for flagging in

    If valid certificates of the vessel’s former flag state confirming compliance with SOLAS can be presented, the BSH assumes that operation of the vessel is safe. Depending on the individual case, different measures have to be taken by the owner/operator of the ship.

    More information

If you intend to register/re-register a vessel, you are required to contact the BSH on the above subjects and may have to submit an application.

Vessels flying the German flag may apply for financial aid.  The BSH is your competent contact in all questions concerning:


  • the International Shipping Register (ISR)

    Merchant vessels flying the German flag may be entered in the ISR under certain conditions.

    Additional information
  • Subsidies to maritime transport

    Under certain conditions, vessels flying the German flag may receive financial aid to reduce non-wage labour costs as well as subsidies to promote the creation of training places.

    Additional information

The German Dienststelle Schiffssicherheit (BG Verkehr)
answers questions concerning the following subjects in connection with the flagging/re-flagging of ships:

  • General questions
  • Manning
  • Ship safety
  • Medical fitness of mariners
  • Social insurance
  • Working hours
  • Recognition of certificates / training course „German maritime law“
  • Signing on abroad
  • Aid to German flagged vessels
  • Subsidy to German flagged vessels


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If you have any additional questions, please e-mail Rainer Koch, or phone +49 40 3190 - 7210


More information on the subject:
International Shipping Register (ISR)

External links:
Dienststelle Schiffssicherheit

Deutsche Version

 © 2017 Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie Last Update: Jul 5, 2017 10:15:18 AM  
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