Communication equipment:

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Sachgebiet S 31
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg

Hans-Karl von Arnim
Phone: +49 40 3190-7310
Fax: +49 40 3190-5000



Radio safety certificate:;3Assignment of frequencies:

BG Verkehr / Dienststelle Schiffssicherheit
Referat Nautik
Brandstwiete 1
20457 Hamburg


Hans-Joachim Wiegmann
Phone: +49 40 361 37-314
Fax: +49 40 361 37-204


Gerhard Wessels
Phone: +49 40 36137-229
Fax: +49 40 36137-204

Bundesnetzagentur
Außenstelle Hamburg
Sachsenstrasse 12 und 14
20097 Hamburg

Phone: +49 40 23655-0
Fax: +49 40 23655-182

Webcode for this Content: 16381967

Maritime radiocommunication

Maritime radiocommunication enhances safety at sea

Maritime radiocommunication is an international mobile radio service. It enables radio traffic both terrestrial as well as via satellite:

  • to transmit private and official messages,
  • between shore based radio stations (coast stations/ coast earth stations) and ship based radio stations (ship stations/ ship earth stations),
  • as well as between ship based radio stations.

The maritime radiocommunication service contributes substantially to the safety of shipping and of ships’ crews. Thanks to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) many lives have been saved. Radio stations on board of survival crafts as well as floating emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) are parts of this network.

bild seefunk

Checklist for maritime radiocommunication

Operators of a ship based radio station should observe the following:

  • Approval of the radio equipment in accordance with the Maritime Equipment Directive – MED  by a notified body,
  • Radio survey by the Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH) or by one of its recognized organisations in connection with the other surveys of the ship,
  • Assignment of numbers for the mobile maritime radio service (Maritime Mobile Service Identity - MMSI; call sign; ATIS) by the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway).

(back to top)

Maritime radio equipment must be certified

Maritime radio equipment, required on board according to SOLAS chapter IV, has to be approved in accordance with the European Marine Equipment Directive – MED. The approval is marked by an affixed wheelmark. Additional radio equipment on board is subject to the German “Gesetz über Funkanlagen und Telekommunikationsendeinrichtungen (FTEG)” (law on radio installations and telecommunication terminals), including a CE marking.

(back to top)

For participation in maritime radio communication each ship is assigned specific numbers

Maritime radio communication is vital in modern shipping. For participation, a licence is required.  For ships under the German flag the required numbers are assigned by the responsible Bundesnetzagentur (German Federal Network Agency):

  • Call sign,
  • Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) and/or
  • Automatic Transmitter Identification System-Number (ATIS-Number).

These ship-specific numbers are assigned with the ship station licence.

Please click here for the application for the assignment of numbers (only in German) for the mobile maritime radio service in commercial shipping.

(back to top)

Existing ship station licences remain valid

Until 31 May 2013 each ship was also individually assigned frequencies for participation in maritime radio communication by the Bundesnetzagentur. This procedure has since ceased. All existing ship station licences remain valid and need not to be renewed.

Further information on maritime radiocommunication can be found on the website of the Bundesnetzagentur (only in German).

(back to top)