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Digital shipping register

The German Flag State Administration gets more and more digital. In addition to e-certificates, online application procedures and many other interactive applications on the website, the Hamburg shipping register, as the first shipping register in Germany, will become digital. A user-friendly and time-saving procedure will facilitate the registration of ships for the shipowners and the administration staff.

"Time is money" – this is especially true for the shipping industry, because any day that a ship is not in transit, it is costing the shipowner money rather than making it. So far a ship registration may take up to a week. During this time the documents are being processed, handed from one department to the next and are thoroughly checked legally.

To considerably reduce this bureaucratic effort, the Hamburg shipping register has decided to undergo a comprehensive digitalisation. On 1. January 2020, the first digital shipping register in Germany will be able to carry out registrations and register entry changes in less than half the time thanks to online applications, automatic processes, such as call sign designation and verification of double naming, as well as digital files.

digital shipping register Hamburg

The Hamburg shipping register counts almost 7,000 entries of which 4,866 are of sea-going vessels. This makes it the largest shipping register in Germany. Last year it had 420 new entries and 3,500 applications for changes. The registration of a ship at the competent district court of the home port is required when a new ship is built or a ship changes flag. Applications for a change of the entry need to be filed when for example a ship undergoes a conversion or changes its name. The online application allows for a submission of the application forms independent of the opening hours of the authority from all around the world. It will also not be necessary to visit the shipping register personally for a file inspection, this can rather be done at one's own desk.

Some other shipping registers have already shown interest in this digitalisation project. The possible digitalisation of other shipping registers could facilitate a closer cooperation in the future. The digital shipping register will be a real gain for the maritime and legal location Hamburg and a valuable service for the shipowner.