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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

apply for a maritime surveillance licence


You must apply for approval from the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) whenever you wish to offer armed services with the aim of countering piracy on seagoing vessels flying the German flag or if your company is based in Germany.

Before BAFA grants approval, it checks with the Federal Police whether your company meets the approval criteria. You must then ensure yourself that the guards deployed meet the requirements placed on them in terms of reliability, suitability and expertise.

Your security guard company must meet certain requirements to be licensed. Verified:

  • operational organization and procedures,
  • equipment,
  • the professional and personal suitability and reliability of the persons employed and of the management as well as
  • the company liability insurance.
  • Documentation of the operational organization
  • Process manual for the procedures
  • Service instructions
  • List of equipment used by the security company
  • Documents proving the reliability, suitability and expertise of the person responsible in the company, including the certificate of good conduct or an equivalent foreign document in German or, if necessary, in a certified translation
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Company profile with a description of the market position of the security company in the field of maritime security
  • Extract from the commercial register or a comparable foreign document
  • if applicable, export, import or transit licences for weapons and equipment requiring a licence

With the exception of the certificate of good conduct, all documents can also be submitted in English. However, the Federal Office reserves the right to request translations for individual documents.

  • Initial application: EUR 10,297 - 19,400
  • Fee for subsequent application: EUR 2,949 - 10,632
  • Fee for recognition of a foreign licence: EUR 2,949 - 17,960
  • You should submit the application about 6 months before the planned start of a guarding activity.
  • Validity of the authorisation: 2 years

about 3 to 6 months, depending on the completeness of the application documents

  • Online procedure possible: yes
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: no

You can apply for approval to guard seagoing vessels at the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control.

  • the form is available online
  • please print out the application form and upload it with the signature of the person in charge via the upload form
  • please attach the necessary application documents in pdf format to the application form
  • You can speed up the processing of your application if you upload the completed self-assessment form in pdf format
  • BAFA and the Federal Police check the operational organisation and procedures in the company, the equipment, the requirements for the senior employee appointed as the responsible person, the company liability insurance
  • If necessary, BAFA will request additional documents

BAFA will then inform you in writing whether your application has been approved.

In addition to the licence, you need a weapons permit in accordance with § 28a of the Weapons Act for the armed guarding of seagoing vessels under the German flag. This is issued by the Hamburg Authority for the Interior and Sport - Weapons Authority - of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

If your security company is established in Germany and you wish to carry out security duties with weapons on seagoing vessels under other flags, a weapons permit from your local weapons authority may be required.

If you wish to export weapons and equipment requiring a licence from Germany in order to carry out guarding activities, you must apply to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control for an export licence.

Please refer to the information and further links on the website of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control .

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

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