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 for Digital and Transport (BMDV) with offices located in Hamburg and Rostock. With the help of around 1.000 employees and an annual budget of approx. 135 million Euros (in 2024, incl. ship financing), 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 security as well as the protection of the maritime environment,
  • promotes sustainable uses of the sea,
  • actively participates in the energy transition,
  • is involved in departmental research on an international as well as a national level,
  • ensures continuity and quality of measurements and research, and
  • processes and promulgates collected data.


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 very well connected. It cooperates with around 170 national and international organisations and other bodies.