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

Phone: +49 40 31 90-0
Fax: +49 40 3190-5000
Mail: posteingang@bsh.de

BSH (Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency)

Maritime Service Provider of the Federal Government

The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, BSH) is an authority in the division of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development with offices located in Hamburg and Rostock. With the help of 840 employees and an annual budget of approx. 69 million Euros, BSH performs a wide range of services as an important maritime service provider in Germany.

As a partner for maritime shipping, protection of the environment and uses of the sea, the BSH

  • supports maritime shipping and the maritime economy,
  • consolidates safety and the protection of the environment
  • promotes sustainable uses of the sea
  • ensures continuity in the measurements, and
  • provides current information about the conditions of the North and Baltic Sea.


BSH’s functions

As an important maritime service provider in Germany, BSH's tasks include:

  • Protection of the environment of maritime traffic (MARPOL, Liability of oil pollution, Ballast Water Convention and oil identification),
  • Safety of maritime shipping and security,
  • Hydrographic surveying, search for wrecks
  • Navigational information systems
  • Services for the shipping industry (flag documents, certificates of competency for seafarers, promotion of the shipping sector),
  • Warning services (water-level forecast, tide prediction, storm surge warning service, ice service),
  • Monitoring the seas (in regard to climate and environmental changes)
  • Maritime geospatial data centre
  • Maritime spatial planning in the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and
  • Approval procedures for marine windfarms (MWF) and pipelines.

BSH is not only represented nationally in federal and state committees, but it also cooperates with more than 20 international organisations.

You can find a an overview of BSH's tasks, subject areas and activities in the "BSH-Flyer".