Hamburg's digital ship register growing longer

States of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse to transfer registries
16 February 2023
Ein Containerschiff im Hamburger Hafen

The senate has agreed to seal a treaty with the states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse under which the three will join Hamburg’s digital ship register, a press release said Tuesday (February 7, 2023). This comes after Berlin and Brandenburg transferred their ship registers to Hamburg in 2021. Certain procedures in the maritime industry no longer have to be carried out manually after the Hanseatic register went digital in 2020. Managed by the district court, Hamburg's register comprises around 7,000 entries making it Germany’s largest.

Longer register strengthening Hamburg 

Anna Gallina, Senator for Justice, has termed the digital ship register a "total success", adding: "The transferral of other federal states' ship registers to Hamburg will strengthen the city as a business and legal centre for shipping. This unique digitalisation project makes Hamburg a highly attractive location for registering ships." The transferral of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg ship registers, which includes vessels navigating the Hessian section of the Neckar River, is pending the approval of Hamburg's parliament. Around 700 seafaring vessels, inland waterway vessels and ship constructions and 860 entries from Bavaria would be transferred to Hamburg. Additional costs arising from the takeover of the other registers are to be covered by fees.

Award-winning project 

Prior to digitisation, entries and changes to the register were done manually which was both difficult and costly as the industry is subject to different global time zones. Printouts of the register and ship documents have been available electronically since 2020 and can be applied for online. An award-winning Hamburg-based IT project placed second and won the audience award of the eGovernment contest in 2021.