Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Sachgebiet S 12 - Befähigung von Seeleuten
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg


Phone: +49 40 31 90-71 25
Fax: +49 40 31 90-50 10



Webcode for this Content: 16569275

Seafarer's card

Voluntary seafarer’s card

The Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH, Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency) issues a proof of professional sea service. This proof is called „seafarer’s card" ("Seeleute-Ausweis) and has a validity of ten years.

  • Possession of such card is voluntary and no prerequisite for employment on merchant ships under German flag. It is issued upon application.
  • The certificate serves only to prove professional sea service in ocean shipping and neither substitutes a passport nor an official identification.
  • Proof of professional sea service in ocean shipping must be provided by means of a confirmation from the Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH, Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency) or by proof of work in any other capacity on board a merchant ship under the German flag.
  • Data cannot be saved on the Seafarer's Card. Periods of sea service are documented with Records of Employment.
  • The Seafarer's Card can be an advantage in some countries and might be required in other countries.

German seafarer's card (sample front)German seafarer's card (sample back)

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Application form and contact details

Data protection declaration

Do you have any questions? Please refer to our contact persons.

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