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Reflective close proximity clothing must meet EN 1486 or ISO 15538

Close proximity clothing for fire fighting as maritime equipment in accordance with the European Marine Equipment Directive 2014/90/EU (hereinafter MED) must successfully undergo a specified conformity assessment procedure ("EU approval") prior to their supply on the European single market and their subsequent use on board an EU ship as defined by the MED.

The relevant testing standards for the conformity assessment procedure stem from the provisions of the current implementing regulation of the European Commission on design, construction and performance requirements as well as testing standards for marine  equipment. In the implementing regulation – which is currently regulation (EU) 2018/773 – the testing standards EN 469(2005), EN 1486 (2007) as well as ISO 15538 (2001) are listed under item "MED/3.3 Fire-fighter's outfit: protective clothing (close proximity clothing)".

A ruling on 20 October 2017 (under the number 3 Bf 152/16) of the higher administrative court of Hamburg has bindingly found that for reflective close proximity clothing and close proximity clothing with a reflective outer surface only the testing standards EN 1486 or ISO 15538 are to be applied in a MED conformity assessment procedure. The testing standard EN 469 is not pertinent and therefore may not be the basis of an "EU approval procedure".

Reflective close proximity clothing, which has solely been tested in accordance with EN 469, lacks the proper conformity assessment procedure and the proof that the clothing conforms with the applicable legal requirements for the product and may therefore be indicated as MED conform and bear the wheel mark.

All economic operators , manufacturers and distributors in particular, are legally obliged to ensure that they are not responsible for any reflective close proximity clothing solely tested with EN 469 to make it available as a MED conform product on the German market and consequently used.

The BSH, as the competent market surveillance authority explicitly reserves the right to take the regulatory measures against the economic operators  concerned in case an infringement of the legal prohibition is established.

Market surveillance department is at your disposal in case of any questions.

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

Marktüberwachung / market surveillance

Mail: marktueberwachung@bsh.de

Ingolf Eckert
Phone: +49 40 3190-7110
Fax: +49 40 3190-5000
Mail: ingolf.eckert@bsh.de

Additional restrictions for sewage discharge

Transitional arrangement for possible "No Deal Brexit"

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) published a transitional arrangement for conformity assessment procedures and acceptance of ship's equipment on board of ships under European flag in case of a "No Deal Brexit".

Fire extinguishers

02/2019: Safety notice regarding fire extinguishers by the manufacturer Eversafe Extinguisher SDN BHD

The manufacturer Eversafe Extinguisher SDN BHD has published a safety notice regarding possible corrosion damage with the extinguisher models 

  • Brude EEF-9s and
  • Brude EEW-9s.

The serial numbers of the models potentially affected are known. Please note in particular, the advice of the manufacturer on page two regarding the annual service and restrictions regarding sunlight and heat.

Safety notice for immersion suits

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued a safety notice for immersion suits. With several suits the glue used to attach the main zipper to the body of the suit had failed. The suits concerned are of the type Rongsheng RSF-1. Please find further details in the document referred to above.

If you have any immersion suits of this type on board, check their proper condition. If you detect any defects, please inform the market surveillance (Marktüberwachung) of the BSH.

In addition, this notice has been published in the Notices to Mariners  - Nachrichten für Seefahrer (issue 19/2018).

Find an overview of all safety notices and product recalls here.

As of now application for subsidisation year 2019 possible

New: electronic liability certificates

Current Information

The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, BSH) now issues (since 1st November 2017) all of the liability certificates electronically and also sends them electronically. The electronic liability certificates do not have a signature or a stamp of the BSH anymore but a QR Code and a Tracking Identification Number (TID).

Below you can find model electronic liability certificates:


As of now, you can apply for the issuance of a liability certificate for the next insurance year (2018/2019) at the BSH. If you are currently missing documents (e.g. Blue Cards), you can submit those later.

You can find the application forms for the liability certificates in our section "Applications and Documents" . You can now apply for all liability certificates by simple e-mail. You do not have to send in the original documents anymore.

The BSH only requires one application per ship for the issuance of liability certificates for:

  • Oil cargo (in accordance with the 1992 Liability Convention)
  • Bunker oil (in accordance with 2001 Bunkers Convention)
  • Wreck removal (in accordance with the Wreck Removal Convention)

For the passenger liability certificate (in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 392/2009), please use the separate application.

Please note:

  • Please name a central e-mail address to which the BSH can send documents. They will be sent from the no-reply-address liability@bsh.de.
  • As usual, you have to attach the Blue Card and the ITC 69 or a valid PSSC to the application. If the registered owner or the carrier is represented by an authorised person, a written or electronic "Authorisation to make the application" has to be attached.
  • If a person authorised to receive communication needs to be named (if the ship does not fly the German flag and/or the registered owner or carrier, respectively, does not have the permanent residence or the place of business in Germany), an "Authorisation to receive communication" has to be presented; an electronic copy suffices.
  • Generally, the notification of fees is sent to the registered owner or the carrier, respectively. It is also possible, however, to name a different addressee for the fee notification.
  • If you submit the application or the attachments neither in German or English, you have to attach a translation by a translator approved by the appropriate authority.


Please send the application documents (PDF files) via e-mail to the following designated e-mail addresses:

  • nwrc@bsh.de for liability certificates (oil liability and wreck removal liability)
  • plc@bsh.de for Passenger Liability Certificates

Please do not use personal BSH-email-addresses, because the processing is only guaranteed via the designated e-mail-addresses.

Issuance of liability certificates

As of now, you will receive the liability certificates with the accompanying documents exclusively via e-mail from the no-reply-email-address laibility@bsh.de. The following documents will be attached to the E-Mail:

  • the cover letter,
  • the liability certificate,
  • the notification of fees,
  • the "information letter": an explanatory letter which outlines how the authenticity and the validity of the electronic certificate can be verified.

Verification of electronic liability certificates

The verification of the electronic liability certificates occurs during port state inspections or other inspections in the section "E-Certificates" of this website. The QR Code directs you to the website; after entering the Tracking Identification Number (TID) which is on the liability certificate, the document will open.

Any liability certificates issued in paper form will of course remain valid.

With questions please refer to:

  • questions about the application: Ms Mühlenbeck, phone: +49 40-3190 7435; and
  • other questions: Ms Kreyenberg, phone: +49 40-3190 7437
  • alternative for other questions: designated e-mail-address nwrc@bsh.de
  • only in case of an emergency: Maritime Hotline, phone: +49 40-3190 7777.

New Leaflet on Malaria

Malaria is a dangerous infectious disease which can be caught during voyages in risk areas. If it gets detected in time, it is curable. Untreated, some forms of Malaria can cause severe organ damages and even lead to death.

The Maritime Medical Service (Seeärztlicher Dienst) of the BG Verkehr updated all important information about the disease and its prevention in the new Leaflet on Malaria. It also details how to get the case of Malaria recognized as occupational disease.

In comparison to the previous version, the Malaria leaflet of the BG Verkehr contains three alterations:

  1. The map of areas with a high risk of Malaria transmission has been updated,
  2. The information that the drug Malarone can be taken over a longer period of time,
  3. The detailed description with photos of how to prepare a blood sample for the recognition as an occupational disease later on.

For a hardcopy of the brochure of the Leaflet on Malaria please refer to Mr. Meixner, phone +49 40 36 137-236 or e-mail: klaus.meixner@bg-verkehr.de.

Please note that the old leaflet has to be replaced at the latest for the next inspection of the medicine cabinet, in accordance with section 109 paragraph 3 of the German Maritime Labour Act).

Further information on medical equipment on board of ships can be found in our rubric "Maritime Medicine".


Working translation of part 5 - Fishing vessels under 24m