News 2024

From 27 to 29 May in Dresden, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) hosts a symposium on how migration and occupational health and safety interact. The symposium takes place in person as well as online, all presentations are translated simultaneously into German and English. One presentation focusses on cultural differences on board a seagoing ship.

Topics of the symposium include difficulties in communication when working together, integration of foreign employees or recruiting from abroad. Good practice examples add to the program. Presentation and discussion groups about experiences from 15 different nations offer deepened insights into the challenges and chances of cultural diversity at the work place.

On 28th May, associate professor Dr. Marcus Oldenburg of the Central Institute for occupational and maritime medicine in Hamburg will give a talk about "Cultural differences in seafarers' perception of stress and the particular challenges of training ship officers".

The organizers of the symposium are the sections Prevention in Transportation and Prevention in Health Care Services of the International Social Security Association (ISSA). The participation at the conference is possible online and in person. The presentations will be translated simultaneously into German and English.

The program and further information on the symposium is provided on the website of ISSA.


The Stiftung "Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland" has been funding navigational and engineering vocational training as well as professional development of seafarers for over ten years. This purposeful subsidisation supports the endeavours of companies with regard to professional training and development of their maritime specialized personnel in Germany.

After the foundation had already raised their funding sums for vocational training last year, this year it increases the funding sums for professional development. For the subsidisation year 2024, the foundation increases the maximum amount to be subsidised both per eligible person as well as per professional development measure by 600 € each – to 3,600 € and 4,600 €. In addition, the maximum funding for training outside the training location ship is also raised by 600 € to 3,200 €. 

The funding amounts for navigational and engineering vocational training and the compensation amounts for changing to a foreign flag acc. to sec. 7 para. 3 of the German "Flaggenrechtsgesetz" remain the same. 

Applications for the various funding measures in 2024 can be submitted as of now and must have arrived at the foundation at the latest on 28 February 2025 at 6 pm. Further information regarding the funding and the application forms is given under the heading "Financial Matters" as well as on the website of the Stiftung "Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland".

As of this year, maritime shipping is included in the EU Emission Trading System. Now the "Bundesumweltamt" (UBA) announces that the German implementation of the EU requirements is delayed. It is anticipated that German shipping companies will be able to join in the trade of emission certificates by April.

The EU has made it mandatory for shipping companies with ships of 5,000 GT and more that call on EU ports to buy certificates for greenhouse gas emissions. This European emission trade comprises any maritime traffic between EU ports as well as between an EU port and a third state port (for the latter only half the amount is paid).

The obligation for shipping companies to acquire emission trading certificates is phased in. This year, the shipping companies concerned have to buy certificates for 40% of their actual emissions, next year it's for 70% and from 2026 for all greenhouse gas emissions. The proceeds from this certificate trading feed into the climate innovation fonds of the EU, which, in part, finances measures to improve climate protection in the European maritime traffic sector.

Germany has not yet implemented the EU requirements for the inclusion of maritime shipping into the European emission trade in its national legislation. The German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt) of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), which is the responsible authority for the ETS in Germany, has recently announced that the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is soon to produce the amendment of the German Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Act (Treibhausgas-Emissionshandelsgesetz). According to information provided by the DEHSt, German shipping companies will only be able to open maritime operator holding accounts from April 2024. The maritime operator holding accounts are required in order to register the emission certificates in the Union Registry. The DEHSt stresses that the shipping companies concerned will not be negatively affected by this delay in German implementation of the EU requirements.

The due date for shipping companies to submit the certificates of the greenhouse gases emitted in 2024 is 30th September 2025. Which German shipping companies are obliged to buy emission certificates is given in the appendix to the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2024/411 of 30th January 2024 listed under "Germany" (page 6 of 14).

Over the next days and weeks, the German Maritime Centre (Deutsches Maritimes Zentrum) offers several information events regarding the European Maritime Emission Trade. You can find the individual dates of the "Maritime Trends" events in our Maritime Calendar.

The website of the DEHSt contains further information on the practical implementation of the EU maritime emission trading in their Q/A catalogue among other places. You can reach the customer service of the DEHSt via the following e-mail:

For further questions on the topic, you are welcome to contact the Ship Safety Division of BG Verkehr: Phone: +49 40 36 137 217, E-Mail:

In our section "People of the German Flag", we introduce to you persons from the maritime industry who bear relation to the German Flag. This time in our portrait: Christoph Gessner, Chief Operating Officer of Offen Group.

Christoph Gessner grew up on the North Sea island Föhr – accompanied by his father's experiences as a radio operator working at sea. So it is not surprising that his interest in seafaring was awakened early on.

In 1994, Christoph Gessner began his career as a ship's mechanic apprentice at the shipping company Hamburg Süd followed by studying in Hamburg and seagoing service as both navigational and engineering officer. In 2003 he became superintendent at the Hamburg Süd subsidiary company Columbus Shipmanagement and became its CEO in 2014. Since December 2018, he is Chief Operating Officer of the Offen Group.

Read about Christoph Gessner and find out what he finds so intriguing about shipping and seafaring, what his relationship is with the German Flag and how he judges the strengths and the future of the German Flag in our current portrait "People of the German Flag".