Life saving appliances:

Berufsgenossenschaft Verkehrswirtschaft Post-Logistik Telekommunikation (BG Verkehr)
Dienststelle Schiffssicherheit
Brandstwiete 1
20457 Hamburg

Referat Nautik


Peer Lange
Phone: +49 40 361 37-319
Fax: +49 40 361 37-204
Mobile: +49 171 882 70 68



Marine pollution prevention equipment:

Referat Maschine


Bernd Seifert
Phone: +49 40 39 80 23 21
Fax: +49 40 39 80 21 21
Mobile: +49 171 505 70 35


Holger Steinbock
Phone: +49 40 36137-217
Fax: +49 40 36137-204



Fire protection equipment:

Referat Brandschutz


Berthold Kolberg
Phone: +49 40 361 37-233
Fax: +49 40 361 37-204
Mobile: +49 171 882 70 61



Navigation and radio equipment/ballast water treatment plants:

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Referat S 3 - Navigationsgeräte, Normung, Beratung, Prüfung, Zulassung
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg

Doreen Thoma
Phone: +49 40 31 90-73 00
Fax: +49 40 31 90-50 00



Webcode for this Content: 16678615

Ship's equipment

International instruments

The International Maritime Organisation IMO defines in its international instruments, inter alia, the kind and scope of equipment required on board of seagoing ships. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea – SOLAS provides an international minimum standard for the safety of merchant ships. The most important requirements for the equipment of fishing vessels of 24 m length and above are contained in the Torremolinos International Convention.

These international instruments prescribe, which equipment has to be placed on board of the various types of ships. The procedure for approval of marine equipment on board of European ships however, is defined in Council Directive 96/98/EC (on marine equipment).

European Marine Equipment Directive covers the approval of marine equipment

The European Marine Equipment Directive – MED applies to all flags of EU member states, including the German flag. Its purpose is

  • to enhance safety at sea,
  • to improve the protection of the marine environment, and
  • to facilitate free trade of marine equipment within the European Union while maintaining a common safety level.

Since this directive has entered into force all marine equipment listed in it is subject to an EC-conformity-assessment procedure, which includes approval by a notified body, if internationally harmonised testing standards exist.

Equipment approved accordingly may be marketed, installed aboard and used throughout the EU without further national approval. The manufacturer affixes a symbolized “wheel mark” as indication of conformity, the identification number of the notified body and the year in which the mark was put on the equipment.

Marine equipment requiring approval in accordance with German law for which there are no internationally harmonised testing standards, the BSH still issues a national approval.

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Versions of the Marine Equipment Directive

The equipment listed in annexes and the relevant testing standards are subject to continuous change, so far implemented annually in new editions of the MED.

On 23. July 2014 the EU Commission adopted a new Marine Equipment Directive and published it as Directive 2014/93/EU in the Official Journal of the EU (L258 of 28. August 2014). On 18. September 2016 it came into force in Germany and revoking Directive 96/98/EC. It comprises extensive amendments.

Since 16.03.2017 a list of marine equipment requiring approval was published in the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/306. This Implementing Regulation also regulates transitional periods, the applicability of IMO performance requirements and testing standards for conformity assessment procedures (in accordance with Directive 2014/90/EU) as well as when equipping ships.

Find more information on the Marine Equipment Directive and EU approval (MED) here.

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Mutual Recognition Agreement  between the EU and the USA

Since 2004 a Mutual Recognition Agreement – MRA exists between the EU and the USA as regards testing and approvals according to Council Directive 96/98/EC. A list in the appendix to the MRA shows all equipment covered by this agreement.

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