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Welcome to the German flag

As maritime administration we are there for our customers. This is where you find
everything important for seafarers and shipowners about maritime shipping under
German flag.



Deutsche Flagge

As of now 100% wage tax relief

The planned increase of wage tax relief from 40% to 100% for the German flag has become reality: as of now shipowners do not have to pay wage tax to the tax office for their seafarers working on German-flagged merchant ships.

Basis for the change is the "Gesetz zur Änderung des Einkommenssteuergesetzes zur Erhöhung des Lohnsteuereinbehaltes in der Seeschifffahrt" (Act of the amendment of the Income Tax Act to increase wage tax relief in maritime shipping). This act also repeals the previous 183-day-regulation. Crew members do not have to be in a 183 day long employment relationship anymore for the shipowner to be able to make use of this tax benefit.

The European Commission has declared its consent to this aid on 3. May. With the publication of this resolution in the Federal Law Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt), this new regulation will come into force.

With this act the federal government and states make good on their promise to make the German flag more competitive. The shipowners deduct the full wage tax from the wages of their seafarers, but may keep it rather than forwarding it to the tax office. This puts German shipowners on equal footing with many shipping companies abroad that do not have to pay wage tax for their seafarers.

Shipowners may utilize the full wage tax relief from the June wage payment period.


Fitness for Sea Service
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Determining the gross mass of a packed container from 01.07.2016


Picture Container Port Hamburg
Determining the gross mass of a cargo container
The International Maritime Organization IMO has included new regulations regarding weighing of containers in chapter VI Regulation 2 of the SOLAS Convention.
Based on these changes, the verified gross mass of cargo containers loaded onto SOLAS ships has to be documented. Otherwise, the cargo container may not be loaded. The SOLAS Amendment comes into force on 1. July 2016.
We have now compiled your most frequently asked questions and answered them in our section FAQ.

Subsequent to the information event of the BMVI (Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure) on 11.04.2016, the presentations are now available. 

BG Verkehr has approved a procedure to calculate the gross mass in accordance with Method 2.
The IMO recommends their members to conduct the introduction of the new regulation with a sense of proportion. For containers loaded before 1. July 2016 without statement of the verified gross mass a loading ban at a reloading to another ship will be desisted from. The coming into force will not be postponed; the record date remains the 1. July 2016. Germany will follow this recommendation.

Current information on this topic can be found in our rubric "Safety and Security".

New sewage provisions for the Baltic Sea from 2019
From 2019 passenger ships in the Baltic Sea must observe the new provisions by the IMO regarding sewage discharge. This was adopted by the Marine Environmental Protection Committee of the IMO (MEPC) at their last session on 22. April 2016. In order to reduce the input of nutrients to the Baltic Sea, mandatory limits for the discharge of phosphorus and nitrogen must be complied with by passenger ships. These strict provisions apply to new passenger ships from 1. June 2019 and to existing passenger ships exactly two years later.
Further information can be found under our heading “Environmental Protection".