Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Sachgebiet S 13
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg

Angela Boemke
Phone: +49 40 3190-7130
Fax: +49 40 3190-5020
Mail: schifffahrtsfoerderung@bsh.de

Non-wage labour costs

Subsidies to reduce non-wage labour costs

As part of its financial support measures, the federal government of Germany grants subsidies to reduce non-wage labour costs to maritime shipping companies. This is meant to strengthen the competitiveness of ships flying the flag of an EU member state or a state for which the Agreement on the European Economic Area applies and which are deployed in international maritime traffic.

The current German "Richtlinie zur Senkung der Lohnnebenkosten in der Seeschifffahrt" (guideline on the reduction of non-wage labour costs in ocean shipping ) applies for the subsidisation years 2022 to 2027 and stipulates the respective calendar year as period of grant.

Shipping companies are eligible to apply if they cover the employer's contribution of the social security for their seaferers in accordance with No. 4.3 of the guideline that are employed for operations on board ships in accordance with No. 4.1 of the guideline.

For the prupose of the guideline, ships are merchant ships transporting goods or passengers commercially on international voyages or which are chartered for commercial purposes. They also include cable layers, dredgers and tugs, if more than 50% of their actual activities are performed in international maritime traffic.

It is required that the ship is registered in a shipping register for sea-going ships of an EU member state or a state for which the Agreement on the European Economic Area applies and is flying a flag of an EU member state or a state for which the Agreement on the European Economic Area applies. 

For ships which fly an eligible flag during the period of grant these terms become valid from the day the new flag is flown. If the ship loses the right to fly an eligible flag throughout the period of grant, subsidies are only possible when the eligible flag is flown for at least three months of the period of grant.

Each ship receives individual subsidies based on the seafarers included. For the purpose of the guideline, seafarers are citizens of the EU as well as of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The individual subsidisation amount is the sum of the mandatory employers' contributions to the statutory social security in the Federal Republic of Germany. This comprises promotion of employment, health care, social care, accident and pension insurance including the seafarers' special fund.

Only the maritime part of dredger and tug work is funded.

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Application and forms

Please submit the complete application for subsidies at the latest by 31 December of the year preceding the subsidies. If applications are received from 1 January of the calender year, the period before the application was received will not be considered in the calculation of the subsidisation amount.

As before due to the cut-off period, applications received after 30 September cannot be considered.

For all due dates, the date the BSH receives the application is decisive, not the date on the application nor the date it was submitted to the postal service. Please also note that to meet the due date, it is required that a complete application (incl. all attachments) is submitted via postal mail to

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Sachgebiet S13
Postfach 30 12 20
20305 Hamburg

Please use the following forms:

The application form for subsidies for non-wage labour costs can be filled in electronically and any data which has been entered can also be saved, so that it can be reused if this application form is to be reloaded. Important advice on filling out this application form is found in the attached yellow fields. Please also read the instructions for further information and assistance.

For further information on the current subsidisation program please refer to:

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bild lohnnebenkostenförderung


Recipients of subsidies for non-wage labour costs are accountable. As a principle, account must be given within six months after the period of payment, at the latest by 30 June of the following year, and submitted in writing and complete (with all annexes and enclosures) to the:

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg, Germany

Please use the following forms:

Account for non-wage labour costs, 2022

Please send the forms "Anlage Beschäftigte" and "Anlage Kabelleger / Nassbagger / Schlepper" additionally as electronic copy to the e-mail address LNK-VN@bsh.de. The annexes are compatible with Microsoft Office versions from 2007. Older Office versions cannot open them or only with compatibility loss or restricted functionality.

    Additional information on "Anlage Beschäftigte"

    The form "Anlage Beschäftigte" contains advanced functionalities to assist you in filling in the required data and support you in the best way possible with the preparation of the "Verwendungsnachweise" (accounts). Please use the contained operational buttons and take note of the contained comments.

    For a better understanding, we offer you a short instruction as well as a video tutorial where the operation of the form is shown.

    Please direct any problems with the operation to your contact persons at the department "Promotion of Shipping". Do not modify the file format or any contents of the excel file, since this will lead to reading errors and the forms might have to be filled in again and re-sent.

    Further information can be found in the notification of appropriation of funds and in the following guidelines:

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