News 2021

Seafarers are at the centre of this year's World Maritime Day of the International Maritime Organization IMO on 30 September 2021 with the topic "SEAFARERS: At the core of shipping's future". (15.9.2021)

WMD-Logo 2021During the pandemic, the fate of seafarers has become a core issue in the maritime sector: keeping up the supply chain, the crew change crisis, the status of seafarers as key workers and a vaccination programme for seafarers. To acknowledge their dedication and highlight their importance, not only during the pandemic, IMO's World Maritime Day 2021 revolves around seafarers.

The human element plays a crucial role in maritime technological and environmental protection development. The human element is a challenge and at the same time an opportunity to successfully implement digitalization and automation by ensuring an appropriately trained and qualified future workforce, emphasizes Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary General. That's why IMO ties the topic "Seafarers: At the core of shipping's future" to United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular:

  • SDG 4: inclusive and equitable quality education
  • SDG 5: gender equality
  • SDG 8: decent work and economic growth
  • SDG 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure

The focus of the World Maritime Day 2021 on seafarers is also reflected in different campaigns. On the IMO website, seafarers of various nationalities and ranks on board contribute to current maritime issues. In interviews, videos and panel contributions at the main event we find out how seafarers view their current situation and how they envision shipping's future. One thing becomes clear: Much has changed and is changing in the maritime sector in terms of diversity, environmental protection and digitalization. Seafarers are preparing for the upcoming changes and want to be part of the solution. But why don't you listen, read and watch yourself what Helen Frances Coultas, Ashwin Pillai, Veronica Bonimy and many more have to say.

From now on, the Federal maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) offers a new online overview of the bunker suppliers. This new application makes the search for bunker suppliers easier and more convenient.

Shipping companies can now look up local fuel suppliers (fuel for ships) on the BSH website filtered by location, type of fuel and delivery amount. At https://www.bsh.de/EN/TOPICS/Shipping/Environment_and_shipping/MARPOL/marpol_node.html more than 30 suppliers are listed by now. More will follow over the course of 2021.

The BSH keeps this index of local fuel suppliers in accordance with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL Regulation VI/18.9.1). If you find any suppliers missing in the index and for further inquiries, please contact

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg
E-Mail: marpol@bsh.de

In its Annual Report 2020 on the German Maritime Labour Act, the Ship Safety Division of BG Verkehr comprehensively presents how it verified compliance with the requirements of the German Maritime Labour Act throughout the last year. A guidance document on the topic "Working and living on board" aids with the implementation of the German Maritime Labour Act.

Since 2013 the Maritime Labour Act implements the International Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) on ships under German flag. With these provisions, mandatory and comprehensive regulations regarding working and living conditions of seafarers have been established. Important topics like hours of work and rest, food and catering, payment of wages, occupational health on board and many more are now clearly regulated and are verified on a regular basis.

36 MLC surveyors inspect international ships abroad and nationally regarding their compliance with the requirements of the Convention for the Ship Safety Division of BG Verkehr. Maritime Labour Certificates and Fishing Labour Certificates are typically issued as electronic certificates by now.

The employees of the ISM / ILO Department attend to complaints of seafarers about working and living conditions, approve private recruitment agencies and ensure that shipping companies under German flag are informed about current topics of this topic area. The ISM / ILO Department has now published its Annual Report 2020.

With its MLC Guidelines, the ISM / ILO Department offers support with the implementation of the Maritime Labour Act on board German-flagged ships. These MLC Guidelines are available for download directly to your smartphone so that you have them at the ready whenever you need them:

QR-Code MLC-Leitfaden

On its 75th session on 20 November 2020, IMO's Maritime Environment Protection Committee MEPC adopted several measures to further reduce the world's merchant fleet's fuel consumption and thereby its CO2 emissions. For the first time, these provisions include existing ships as well.

With two measures MEPC wants to make sea-going ships more efficient, and therefore more environmentally friendly:

  1. All ships of 5000 GT and more have to meet certain efficiency standards with the new EEXI (Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index). In order to achieve this, ship operators have to implement technical means to significantly lower their fuel consumption and thereby the CO2 emissions of their ships. Already since 2013, a similar requirement, the EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index), has been in place for existing ships. The EEXI engages nearly the complete trading global merchant fleet to reduce their current CO2 emissions by up to 50 % depending on the ship type from 2023.
  2. Moreover, the IMO requires that from 2023 the ship operations are aligned with stricter CO2 emission levels. Every ship receives an assessment of its CO2 intensity, which is divided into five categories from A to E. This categorization is done with the CII (Carbon Intensity Indicator). A similar assessment is already known from electronic devices and cars. Based on the Carbon Intensity Indicator CII, shipping companies whose ships are assessed as class D or E in three in consecutive years have to develop a list of measures to reduce CO2 sufficient to return to class C. This instrument is also meant to increase pressure on ship operators to deploy only their most efficient ships on the market. In addition, the CII creates transparency for all market participants and a comparable data pool.

Currently, international working groups develop guidelines for the implementation of these measures to ensure the starting date 1st January 2023. Furthermore, the IMO panels plan further measures to reduce emissions from shipping such as alternative fuels, emission trade, as well as a CO2-free maritime transport of goods in the long run. The MEPC has not made any concrete decisions to this regard, however.