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News 2017

The federal government supports environmentally friendly gas propulsion of sea-going vessels

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure published the highly anticipated funding directive regarding the usage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) of sea-going ships. Soon a first call for funding applications will follow. Shipping companies will then be able to apply for subsidies for new builds and conversions of ships with LNG propulsion.

With this new funding directive, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) subsidises exclusive or dual fuel operation of main engines of new builds or existing sea-going ships. The ships have to be either registered in a German shipping register for sea-going ships, fly an EU flag or operate primarily in European waters.

The shipping companies of these ships can soon apply for a proportional investment subsidy to the costs of the installation of the LNG powered engine. The subsidy is either for the costs regarding environment protection (if they can be separately determined) or the difference between the costs for LNG in comparison to a less environmentally friendly investment. According to the funding directive of the BMVI a maximum of 40% of the costs will be subsidised. For medium-sized companies (up to 250 employees and 50 million annual turnover) the subsidisation quota rises to 50% and for small companies (up to 50 employees and 10 million annual turnover) even to 60% of the fundable costs.

The new funding directive aims at the following goals:

  1. The funding of LNG as a marine fuel contributes to the reduction of air pollutant emissions.
  2. The funding supports the compliance with the limit values set by the environment protection convention MARPOL.
  3. The funding regulation is supposed to increase the demand for LNG as marine fuel in Germany, which will likewise create incentives for the gas sector to develop a LNG supply infrastructure in ports.
  4. This funding is part of the “Mobilitäts- und Kraftstoffstrategie (MKS)” (mobility and fuel strategy) of the federal government which is supposed to promote the development of alternative propulsion systems and fuels.

The usage of LNG as marine fuel contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions since it does not contribute to sulphur oxide emissions (SOx). Using LNG rather than common marine fuel reduces the sulphur oxide emissions of a sea-going vessel by up to 90 percent, the particle emissions even up to 98 percent.

Further information is available in the funding directive or on the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

The lawyer Kai Krüger (49) has taken on the position as head of the Ship Safety Division at BG Verkehr. He is Ulrich Schmidt’s successor after his sudden passing on 22. December 2016. Mr. Krüger had already led the Division provisionally since February.

Kai Krüger was born in the Lüneburg Heath. He started his professional career in Berlin as an apprentice at the Federal Insurance Institute for Salaried Employees. Subsequently, he worked at the Accident Prevention and Insurance Association for Construction in Hannover for four years. After studying law at the University of Hannover, he started as a trainee lawyer at the Marine Insurance and Ship Safety Association. Most recently, he led the law department of the Ship Safety Division.

Kai Krüger describes his goals: “I am looking forward to my new task and the challenge to ready the division for the future.” Costumer focus is an important factor for success in this. Digitalisation also offers great opportunities for administration. “Our most important aim remains ship safety,” says the head of the Ship Safety Division.

The Ship Safety Division administers on behalf of the federal government statutory tasks in the maritime sector and is part of the German Flag State Administration. The division is responsible for the compliance with national and international provisions regarding ship safety and the protection of the marine environment as well as for the inspection and certification of life saving appliances and fire protection equipment. Surveyors of the Ship Safety Division conduct port state controls on ships with foreign flags in German ports. In the area of maritime labour law, the Ship Safety Division is responsible for the inspection of the working and living conditions of seafarers on board (flag state and port state controls). With its Maritime Medical Service, the Division is also the central point of contact for all questions regarding maritime medicine in Germany.

The shipping company Rörd Braren of Kollmar and Uwe Rottwinkel of the shipping company Rambow of Dochtersen are the winners of the award “Excellent training workplace and excellent trainer 2017”. The competent body of maritime vocational training “Berufsbildungsstelle Seeschifffahrt e.V.” (BBS) presented the award at the 11th Bremer Schifffahrtskongress.

The speakers at the event emphasized how important a profound and practical training is for maritime shipping. “The dual vocational training offered in Germany is an international export hit. My wish is that in the future young people will still be trained as ship mechanics and will be able to practice this profession in the shipping companies,” said Jörg Schultz, State Councillor with the Bremen Senator for Economics, Work and Ports.

For the first time a trainer was honoured for his personal dedication. Uwe Rottwinkel of the shipping company Rambow received an award for his social commitment. “Not many people nowadays take on the responsibility for young trainees”, said the chairman of the BBS, Ernst-Peter Ebert, in his laudation. “Especially not when this includes those young people that would otherwise hardly have a chance in our society. Quite a few of the supposed difficult young people have actually become masters or chiefs. This success shows that Mr. Uwe Rottwinkel is right,” stated Ebert conclusively.

Holger Jäde, the managing director of BBS, thanked everyone involved with training on board and onshore for their special dedication. Especially the training as ship mechanic is ideal for young people, because no other maritime training promotes the understanding of the complete operation of a ship as well as this dual vocational training. “That is why I personally am very glad that with this public offer of the award Excellent training workplace and trainer we can point the way and recognise the endeavours and efforts as well as the gratification that are part of training,” concluded the managing director.

Contribution rates for social security for 2017

Health insurance

General contribution rate (exkl. individual additional contribution)

14,60 %

share employee

7,30 %

plus additional contribution by employee (varies depending on health insurance) 

Link

share employer

7,30 %

Long-term care insurance

contribution rate overall

2,55 %

share employee

1,275 %

share employer

1,275 %

childless overall

2,80 %

share employee

2,025 %

share employer

0,775 %

Pension insurance

General pension insurance

18,70 %

share employee

9,35 %

share employer

9,35 %

Seafarer's special fund

contribution rate

4,00 %

share employee

2,00 %

share employer

2,00 %

Unemloyment insurance

contribution rate

3,00 %

share employee

1,50 %

share employer

1,50 %

Accident insurance

contribution rate seafarers

5,4 %

contribution rate employees on shore in maritime businesses

0,675 %*

Other contribution rates

contribution 1 = illness, courses of treatment (reimbursement rate 80%)

0,90 %

contribution 2 = maternity leave (reimbursement rate 100%)

0,30 %

contribution to the insolvency fund

0,09 %

 *earnings subject to contributions x 1/8 (fraction) x 5,4 % (contribution rate) = contribution

Status 05.12.2016; errors and omissions excepted.

Operands concerning social security for 2017

  Reference value - § 18 SGB IV – in EUR Contribution assessment ceiling in EUR
Health- and Long-term care insurance

Entire Federal Republic

2.975,00 / month

35.700,00 / year

4.350,00 / month

52.200,00 / year

Pension- and unemployment insurance

Old German States (incl. Berlin/West)

2.975,00 / month

35.700,00 / year

6.350,00 / month

76.200,00 / year

Newly-formed German States (incl. Berlin/East)

2.660,00 / month

31.920,00 / year

5.700,00 / month

68.400,00 / year

Seafarers' special fund

Old German States (incl. Berlin/West)

-

6.350,00 / month

76.200,00 / year

Newly-formed German States (incl. Berlin/East)

-

5.700,00 / month

68.400,00 / year

 

Accident insurance: maximum annual income

Maximum annual income (per employee)

72.000,00 EUR

Annual earning limit

General limit

57.600,00 EUR

On-board catering– catering rates

Full catering monthly

240,00 EUR

Lunch and dinner each monthly

96,00 EUR

Breakfast monthly

51,00 EUR

Current exchange rate for non-German seafarers on GIS ships (§ 17a SGB IV)

Reference rate ECB July 2017

Valid 01.10.-31.12.2017

1 USD = 0,8687 €

1 € = 1,1511 USD

Reference rate ECB April 2017

Valid 01.07.-30.09.2017

1 USD = 0,9326 €

1 € = 1,0723 USD

Reference rate ECB January 2017

Valid 01.04.-30.06.2017

1 USD = 0,9422 €

1 € = 1,0614 USD

Status 12.10.2017; errors and omissions excepted.