Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
The Verband der Deutschen Hafenkapitäne is registered at the district court of the Hanseatic City of Rostock.
The aims of the Association are to:
Regular Members of the VDHK e.V. are Harbour Masters and /or directors of port administrations of the German seaports, including inland-waterway ports accommodating ships larger than 500 GRT and enforcing the port regulations in a defined geographical port area.
Contact the German Harbour Masters’ Association via email.
Depending on size, functionality and the legal framework, Harbour Masters of the German ports have different tasks to fulfil. The following gives an impression of the main tasks to be fulfilled by Harbour Masters and their co-workers:
The primary task of the Harbour Master is to arrange for a safe and easy flow of ships traffic. This includes on a 24/7 basis receiving arrival and departure notifications from ships or their representatives and coordinating, together the federal waterway administration, the passage to and from the berths in the port.
In the majority of ports the Harbour Masters are tasked as competent authorities for the supervision and control of rules and regulations with regards to the transport and handling of dangerous goods.
To control the compliance with the various environmental regulations shipping is subject to, is often the task of the Harbour Master’s office. Together with the environmental authorities, pollution prevention and combat are also part of the tasks.
Together with the police authorities implementation and supervision of the measures as per ISPS Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) and relevant EU legislation is conducted.
Pilotage, towage and mooring are essential for the safe conduct of ship manoeuvres. Masters of ships using these services expect a certain quality of these services. Depending on the port legislation permissions to conduct these services are issued by the Harbour Master, who also supervises compliance.
In some ports the Harbour Master is also responsible for the operation of port facilities, e.g. cruise ship and pleasure boat facilities. Usually, the Harbour Master is also consulted to evaluate suitability of constructions in the port area.
If you would like to have more detailed information about the tasks of the Harbour Master and the port authority in a specific port, please, contact the port directly. Please use the list of port addresses below whose Harbour Masters are members of the German Harbour Masters’ Association.
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG Niederl. Brake
Hansestadt Bremisches Hafenamt
Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG
Am Schleusenpriel 2
Duisburger Hafen AG
Alte Ruhrorter Str. 42-52
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG Niederl. Emden
Scandlines Deutschland GmbH
Stadt Flensburg Hafenbehörde
Hamburg Port Authority
Neuer Wandrahm 4
Hafenbehörde im Landesbetrieb für Küstenschutz, Nationalpark und Meeresschutz Schleswig-Holstein (LKN-SH)
Hafenamt Landeshauptstadt Kiel
Lübeck Port Authority
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG Niederl. Norden
Hafenbehörde Amt Eiderkanal
Hansestadt Rostock Hafen- und Seemannsamt
Ost-West-Str. 8 18147
PO Box 481046 18132
Stadtverwaltung Sassnitz Hafenamt<
PO Box 11
Hansestadt Stralsund Hafenamt
Hafenstr. 50 18439
PO Box 2145 18408
Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG Niederl. Wilhelmshaven
Hansestadt Wismar Hafenamt
Kopenhagener Str, 1 Bürocenter
As part of the refurbishment for the operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, Inland and Coastal Marina Systems (ICMS) has installed a floating concrete breakwater within the Port of Newhaven to provide safe berthing facilities for crew transfer vessels (CTVs).
The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) and Tanger Med Port Authority are pleased to announce the 14th International Harbour Masters Congress. The key theme of this 2024 event is The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports. Tanger Med Port Authority will host the congress at the Tanger Med Port Center from 21 to 24 May 2024.