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
Unlike an emergency situation on land, when a ship faces a crisis at sea, Masters cannot simply dial the emergency services for instant assistance. They take responsibility for dealing with the situation, acting decisively to protect lives and prevent or minimise damage to the ship, environment and cargo.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) have worked in partnership to provide the industry with a practical guide
Peril at Sea and Salvage: A Guide for Masters outlines the actions a Master should take when confronted with an emergency: from the initial assessment and immediate actions, through to towage or salvage arrangements, as may be necessary. It also explains the importance of prompt notification to relevant parties with onshore support, particularly coastal States and the company.
A section is included with recommendations for a company’s shore-based personnel.
Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping commented: ‘Over the years we have seen a reduction in shipping emergencies and major incidents due to the development of regulations governing the safe operation and management of ships. Crews are regularly trained in emergency response preparedness and the industry has adopted a compliance culture.
According to a media briefing from IMO the key project to support the reduction of GHG emissions from shipping in developing countries through regional maritime technology cooperation centres has been extended to June 2021.
Known as the Global MTCC Network (GMN) Project this implemented by IMO and funded by the European Union.
There is a global network of Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs). These undertake pilot projects and promote technologies and operations to improve energy efficiency in the maritime sector, it is reported.
Since their establishment three years ago, the MTCCs in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific have established strong regional networks and are becoming important regional players, with technical expertise in the field of maritime energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions knowledge.
These Centres have undertaken a range of pilot projects, completed port energy audits and established branch offices in three countries. IMO report that more than 50 capacity building activities have brought together a total 2,400 delegates from various parts of the maritime sector.