Welcome to the German flag
ADVANTAGES FOR SHIPOWNERS AND SEAFARERS
The website "deutsche-flagge.de" is
the central internet presence of the German flag state administration.
Here, you will find all important
information concerning maritime shipping under the German flag.
- FINANCIAL MATTERS
- Apply for financial support for training places now!
- MARITIME MEDICINE
The Finance Committee of the German Bundestag recommends a wage tax relief for shipowners
On 28. January the Finance Committee of the German Bundestag adopted the increase of the wage tax deduction for seafarers on German-flagged ships from 40% to 100%. Just one day later the Federal Council (Bundesrat) agreed to the relief for shipowners regarding wage tax.
With this law the so called 183-days-regulation will also be canceled. Shipowners will not have to pay wage tax for those seafarers who have been employed for less than 183 days. The justification of the law states that the elimination of this regulation reduces the administrative effort and increases the flexibility of shipping companies in regards to manning the ships (Bundestags-Drucksache 18-7268). The law was first introduced by the Federal Council (Bundesrat).
The law will come into force after the necessary state aid approval of the EU Commission and will at first be limited to five years to allow for an evaluation after this period.
This law is supposed to ensure the nautical know-how for the maritime economy and especially the employment of seafarers on ships under German flag.
The plenary debate at the German Bundestag regarding this law was recorded on Parlamentsfernsehen (Parliament TV).
Ballast Water Convention not yet in force
47 states so far have ratified the Ballast Water Convention. The necessary quorum of 30 signatory states has therefore been reached, however the second criterion for coming into force of the convention, namely 35% of the world gross tonnage, has just been missed – by exactly 0.04%!
The International Maritime Organization IMO has now invited the pending flag states to join the convention. Germany has already ratified the Ballast Water Convention on 13. February 2013. Experts expect the convention to enter into force soon.
More information on the topic ballast water can be found in our rubric “Environmental Protection”.
Foundation supports training of seafarers with 21 million Euros
Last year the Foundation Stiftung “Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland” paid 21 million Euros for the vocational training and professional development of seafarers. Recipients of the foundation’s funds were training shipping companies as well as crew members who furthered their education.
Financial support was given to the vocational training of ship mechanics and assistant officers, the qualification of officers as well as professional development of navigational and engineering staff on board seagoing vessels. The seafarers have to work on board a ship flying either the German flag or that of another European country.
The aim of the foundation is to ensure in the long run as large a quantity of maritime know-how as possible by furthering highly qualified seafarers in the maritime cluster of Germany.
Please find further information about the work of the foundation under our heading “Financial Matters”.
BG Verkehr Merger
From 1. January 2016 the Berufsgenossenschaft für Transport und Verkehrwirtschaft (occupational accident insurance fund for transport and traffic) and the Unfallkasse Post und Telekom (post and telecommunications pension fund) have merged. The new occupational accident insurance fund will be operated under the name „Berufsgenossenschaft Verkehrswirtschaft Post-Logistik Telekommunikation". The abbreviation remains „BG Verkehr“.
Not much changes for shipping under German flag. Newly issued Ship Safety Certificates will carry the new name of the occupational accident insurance fund from now on. The contact details of our experts at the Ship Safety Division of the BG Verkehr, however, have not changed. More information on this topic can be found on www.bg-verkehr.de. This is also where you can find the new image film of BG Verkehr.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Rescuing Refugees in the Mediterranean Sea
In light of the continuing influx of refugees in the Mediterranean region, several international organisations have published guidelines regarding the rescue of refugees at sea:
This 16 page guideline gives an overview of the legal requirements of rescuing refugees as well as practical information for masters, shipping companies and maritime rescue coordination centres (MRCCs).
At 28 pages this guidance contains practical notes on the rescue of large groups of refugees on a seagoing vessel. A checklist for shipping companies and masters as well as coloured safety notes to put up on board supports the crew with the rescue of refugees and their accommodation on board.
This 6 page guideline helps mostly shipping companies to develop appropriate measures when letting refugees come aboard. Among other things it contains practical notes on necessary equipment.
Especially for crew members working on board a German-flagged ship, who had to watch shipwrecked persons or refugees drown, support is offered: The “Trauma-Lotsen” (trauma pilots) of the occupational accident insurance body (Berufsgenossenschaft) take care of seafarers with trauma.