News 2023

Registration of seagoing vessels >5000 GT with the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) applicable from the 01.01.2024

All shipowners operating ships of 5000 GT and more have to start with the following registration work applicable from the 01.01.2024 as follows:

  1. All stakeholder under the EU ETS shall open an account that has been allocated by the EU Commission. The competent Administration of the registration scheme in Germany is operated by the German Authority for Emission Trading (DEHSt). In this registration, every shipowner under the application of the EU ETS shall apply for his maritime operator holding account. All future ETS transactions for emission allowances can only be carried out under this account. It is also possible to pool several ships under one account.
  2. According to the actual status the operational start of the maritime operator holding account will be in April 2024. When the revised EU registry directive has been adopted, which then also incorporates the shipping sector, further information will be provided for the implementation and use of the ETS account.

The emission trading system is applied in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2023/957 and Implementing Regulation 2023/2599.

For further information shipowners can contact the customer service of the DEHSt under or find information on existing questions in the FAQs.

In case of further questions you may also contact the Ship Safety Division in Hamburg, by phone:  +49 40 36 137 217 or by mail:

In recent weeks, unknown persons have illegitimately posed as representatives of the German port State control (PSC) in e-mails and subsequently used the received data to send bills to shipping companies. Here are some tips regarding how to protect yourself against these imposters.

In several cases, unknown culprits have posed as representatives of the German port State control in e-mails written in English and requested shipmasters or shipping companies to disclose information regarding the ship and the shipping company. Subsequently, this illegitimately acquired data was used by the perpetrators to e-mail bills over services that were never rendered using the name of the respective shipping company of the ship – together with the request to transfer the invoice amount. The perpetrators used copied or fake names.

Our tips to protect against fraud attempts:

1. Do not react to e-mails from the following e-mail addresses:


2. If you repeatedly receive e-mails from the above-mentioned e-mail addresses, mark and block these e-mail addresses as spam.

3. Check if the e-mail contains a postal address at the end:

  • If not, do not react to the e-mail.
  • If so, verify that the address matches the correct postal address: Brandstwiete 1, 20457 Hamburg.
  • In the fraud cases we have encountered so far, the unknown persons used the postal address of the respective port authority – however, in Germany port authorities are not responsible for port state control.

4. If you find an e-mail to be suspicious, contact us to be on the safe side. Our correct e-mail address for the German port State control is All port State control officers (PSCO) have an e-mail address following this format: You can find the names and contact details of our employees on our website.

Sadly, fraud attempts keep reoccurring. In 2019 for example, the US Coastguard warned of a similar fraud attempt. Back then, unknown persons used the fake e-mail address to gain access to ships' computers (see the US Coastguard bulletin of the time).

After the recent accession of Bangladesh and Liberia, the International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships will enter into force in two years time. The Hong Kong Convention sets mandatory standards for the recycling of seagoing ships and regarding materials used on board.

Depositing instrument of accession with IMOMore than 15 years after its adoption, the International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention) will enter into force on 26 June 2025. With the recent accession of Bangladesh, as location of many recycling facilities, and Liberia, as a large flag state, the Hong Kong Convention has exceeded the 40% of the world merchant tonnage necessary to enter into force. Germany ratified the Hong Kong Convention in July 2019 (the photo shows depositing of the instrument of accession with the IMO Secretary General).

In recycling countries such as Bangladesh and India so called "Beaching" is still common practice. Beaching is a dismantling method where seagoing vessels are beached (driven onto a flat sandy beach at high speed) for subsequent manual dismantling often without any regards to environmental or occupational health and safety standards.

Rückbau des Massengutfrachters Captain Tsarev auf EU-zertifizierter Werft in Brest Frankreich.jpgIn the EU some of the provisions of the Hong Kong Convention are already in place and mandatory for its member states. With the EU Regulation (EU) 1257/2013 on Ship Recycling, the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) has already become a mandatory part of ship documentation for seagoing ships flying the flag of an EU country.

However, so far only a few recycling facilities outside of Europe have been certified according to the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. In many cases this has led to shipping companies selling their out-of-service ships to somewhere outside of the EU where the ships then fly a non-EU flag and get recycled in south Asia.

The adoption of the Hong Kong Convention in 2009 as well as the EU Ship Recycling Regulation have contributed to the recent shift in awareness. Many of the internationally established recycling yards in India and Bangladesh are currently adjusting their ship recycling practices to the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention. Right on time too, since the shipping organization BIMCO estimates that within the next ten years about 15,000 seagoing ships will need to be recycled.

New procedure for online verification of German seafarers' certificates

With immediate effect, all certificates for seafarers issued by the BSH (certificates of competency and proficiency as well as seafarers' cards) can be verified for authenticity and validity in a new  online procedure.

Companies and authorities wishing to use this procedure must provide credible evidence of a legal claim within the meaning of Section 9f of the German "Seeaufgabengesetz" (Maritime Responsibilities Act). The following, for example, are eligible

  • companies employing seafarers with German certificates or
  • foreign flag state administrations that issue endorsements of recognition to German certificates for service on a ship under their own flag.

For the new online verification (specialized procedure "SBVOV: Verification") a one-time registration via BSH login is required. After registration, the online verification is available in German and English versions.

The new procedure replaces the old application for verifying the authenticity and validity of German seafarers' certificates, which could not be used to verify all types of certificates. In addition, the user registration has been modernized.

At its tenth anniversary, the German shipping foundation Stiftung "Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland" extended its subsidization scheme and raised the subsidization sums. Newly eligible for grants are electro-technical officer's assistants (ETOA). In addition, shipping companies can also apply online for the grants from now on.

Since 10 years, the German shipping foundation Stiftung "Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland" has been subsidizing vocational training and professional development of seafarers – from ship's mechanic through to master – on ships flying the German flag or EU flag. The grant money stems from compensation payments that shipping companies have to make to a foundation as compensation for flagged-out German ships if they do not offer training on-board. The amount of compensation is the same as last year and lies between 2,051 Euros and 19,632 Euros per year in relation to the size of the ship (see announcement in the Federal gazette from the end of 2022).

The foundation subsidizes vocational training of:

  • ship mechanics,
  • navigational and engineering officer's assistants,
  • and, for the first time, of electro-technical officer's assistants.

Moreover, the training of officers (including as master) as well as professional development is eligible for funding.

Another improvement is the considerable increase in grant amounts for the vocational training: Ship mechanics and officer's assistants are subsidized with 14,000 Euros per year (previously: 10,500 Euros), training as ships officer or master with 32,000 Euros per year (previously: 24,000 Euros) and in case of unemployment prior to the training even 38,000 Euros per year (previously: 28,500 Euros).

The conditions for funding of vocational training and qualification by the foundation Stiftung "Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland" are among others:

  • the headquarters of the company are located in Germany,
  • the trainee or master/ship's officer is employed by a German employer,
  • the employer pays contributions to the statutory social security system for the trainee or master/ship's officer,
  • the trainee or master/ship's officer receives a payment of not less than 850 € per month,
  • the ship is operating under the German flag (not the official federal or official state flag) or under EU flag or as of now EER-flag.

As of now, applications for subsidization can be completed and submitted digitally. To do so, the foundation kindly requests that you register via e-mail to

Further information on the topic as well as links to the postal application can be found under the heading "financial matters".