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
Seafarers UK is a charity that has been helping those in the maritime community for over 100 years, by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families.
This aid has been achieved by grants to organisations and projects across the Merchant Navy, the Fishing Fleets, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
In 2019 Seafarers UK awarded 53 grants totalling £2.2m to 43 maritime welfare charities.
On 3 April Seafarers UK made an open appeal on the world wide web to draw attention to the unprecedented times when the effects of COVID-19 are being felt all over the world with the seafaring community being no exception.
As an island nation, the UK is particularly dependent on its seafarers to keep the UK supplied with food, medicine, fuel and other essential supplies. As such, the Government has acknowledged the importance of those who work in the supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic and has officially designated seafarers as key workers.
As the world fights the Coronavirus pandemic seafarers are silently playing a vital role in keeping the nation afloat, under extremely challenging and unpredictable conditions.
On 2 April cruise ships Zaandam and Rotterdam disembarked more than 1,200 passengers in Port Everglades, Florida. These developments, combined with one remaining disembarkation being coordinated, represents the processing of more than 120 vessels in the last three weeks to remove 250,000 passengers from cruise ships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was reported by USCG HQ Media service from Washington.
US Coast Guard, under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working with Department of Homeland Security partners Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as well as state and local entities from multiple port jurisdictions, facilitated the safe landing, screening, quarantine and repatriation of these passengers in a manner that has prevented further spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many passengers were brought to safe harbour in the United States when international ports refused entry.