Since 1. July, there are new requirements for the crewing of ships under German flag: On larger vessels, only the master and one officer have to be EU-citizens. Furthermore, the legal requirement for a ship mechanic is omitted.
This change is part of a package of measures taken by the Federal Government in order to enhance the attractiveness of the German flag. After the increase of the wage tax relief from 40% to 100 % had entered into force recently, the change of the Safe Manning Ordinance (Schiffsbesetzungsverordnung) followed on 1. July. A new matter is the reduction of the required number of EU-officers. Whereas before, up to 4 EU-officers were compulsory for larger vessels, German ship owners now need only employ one EU-officer on their ships over 8000 GT. The requirement of an EU-master on all German-flagged ships, however, does still remain valid.
The changes are effected by Erste Verordnung zur Änderung der Schiffsbesetzungsverordnung which was published in the Federal Law Gazette on 17. June. It will be evaluated after four years of time which effects the introduction of these alterations will have had, among others, on the maritime know-how in Germany. On application, BG Verkehr issues changed Safe Manning Certificates in electronic form at short notice.