Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Referat S 12
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg

Weitere Kontaktmöglichkeiten

Phone: +49 40 31 90-71 25
Fax: +49 40 31 90-50 10
Mail: zeugnisse@bsh.de

Initial issuance

Initial issuance of certificates for seafarers

The BSH is responsible for issuing all certificates for seafarers; this includes the seafarer's card.

Exception: The Seemannsamt Rostock (in German only) is exclusively responsible for the initial issuance of certificates of competency as Navigational Watchkeeping Officer (NWO), Engineering Watchkeeping Officer (TWO) and Electro-technical Officer (ETO), if the applicants were graduates of the maritime university / technical college in Warnemünde. If the training did not correspond to the standard training course, the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency is responsible.


For the initial issuance of a certificate, you must fulfill various requirements. Details can be found in the relevant application forms.
These prerequisites may include certain seagoing service. You can find details on this in the information on seagoing service · ships.

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Application forms

Please note the following:

  • You can process only one form at a time (not several).
  • You must send your applications to the BSH by post or fax (applications by e-mail are not possible).
  • For the sake of environment: Please send your applications to BSH without plastic envelopes or folders.

Data protection declaration

If more than one certificate is issued for a seafarer at the same time, the fees may be reduced. Click here for more information on fees.

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Issuance of replacement

For the issuance of a replacement radio operator's certificate that was not not issued by the BSH, please contact the Deutschen Seglerverband e.V. (in German only), Gründgenstraße 18, 22309 Hamburg.

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