Germany's largest shipping register goes digital

Measure part of "Digital First strategy" - Hamburg leading the way with new register
30 November 2020

Hamburg's Department of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Department of Trade and Industry have completed the digitalisation of the Hamburg Shipping Register at a cost of EUR 2.2 million as part of the Digital First Strategy this summer. The register includes around 6,200 entries i.e. 4,607 sea-going vessels, 1,571 inland waterway vessels and 41 vessels under construction. The digitalized register is expected to lessen the bureaucratic effort associated with the shipping register hitherto. 

Milestone en route to digital city 

The state of Hamburg is now leading the way with its shipping register. "We are offering shipowners an up-to-date service. We are a pioneer in Germany and making Hamburg even more attractive as a shipping and legal location thanks to the digital shipping register," said Anna Gallina, Senator for Justice. The electronic and automated production of register printouts and ship documents will save time and money in future unlike manual entries and changes to the files in the past. Global shipping is reliant on swift process in view of different time zones and the new register is ideally suited to those needs. Bremen has become the second German state to join the digital shipping register.

More functions

The City of Hamburg plans to allow notaries, lawyers and shipowners to access the shipping register at any time. All documents and ship papers are to be filled electronically in future. The Ministers of Justice are due to discuss an initiative that would legalize the issuance of digital ship certificates at a conference in late November. 


Hamburg Shipping Register

The register documents among others ownership and mortgages on the ship. The oldest entry dates back to 1889. Seafaring vessels with a hull length of over 15 metres must be registered. Inland waterway vessels with aa water displacement of 10 cubic metres or a load capacity of 20 tons must be entered in the shipping register.