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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for a flag certificate for pleasure craft


A flag certificate serves as proof of authorization to fly the German flag on a seagoing vessel or a seaworthy pleasure craft.

You can apply for the flag certificate for a recreational craft with a hull length of less than 15 meters, among other things. It is issued for natural persons, partnerships or legal entities. You must have a place of residence or registered office in Germany and either be a German citizen or a citizen of the European Union (EU).

  • It must be a seagoing vessel, i.e. a vessel intended for seafaring. Among other things, it must be suitable for seafaring due to its design, superstructure and dimensions. The following criteria in particular are used to assess whether this requirement is met:
    • Is the vessel certified as CE-compliant in classes A or B?
    • Does the vessel have a watertight deck and enclosed cabin superstructures for a longer stay at sea?
    • Note: Open motorboats, inflatable boats and rigid inflatable boats are not classified as seagoing vessels!
  • Ships flying the German flag must have a German home port. This must be the independent municipality or town to which it belongs and which is located on a navigable body of water (coast, sufficiently large river, canal or inland lake).
    • If the ship has no actual German home port, it is assumed that the ship is operated from the owner's place of residence or registered office. Alternatively, the port of registry - the location of the shipping register responsible for the (domicile) registered office - is to be listed as the home port.
    • Both the home port and the ship's name must be clearly visible and firmly attached to the ship, with the home port at the stern and the ship's name either on the side or at the stern.
  • If a flag certificate is to be issued for a sea-going vessel, it must not be entered in a ship register (register of sea-going vessels, register of inland waterway vessels or foreign register).
  • completed (online) application
  • Identity card or passport (copy)
  • Purchase contract (copy)
  • Confirmation of full payment (copy of corresponding receipts)
  • Proof of technical data (brochure, construction drawing, boat certificate)
  • Photos of the boat
  • Copy of the first page of the radio license certificate, if applicable
  • Copy of the certificate of registration, if applicable
  • If applicable, joint ownership agreement with proof of the personal details of the respective owners (copy)

Appeal against rejection notice

Forms available: Yes

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance necessary: No

Online services available: Yes

You can apply for a flag certificate from the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH):

  • On the BSH website you have the option of submitting the application online or by post.
  • To apply online, go to the BSH's "Flag certificate" website and follow the instructions. You can upload supporting documents in various formats.
  • To apply by post, you can complete the application form as a PDF file on your computer and print it out or download it and complete it by hand.
  • Send the completed application form together with the required documents and evidence by post to the BSH.

Explanations of the application and information about the flag certificate can also be found on the BSH website.

Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport Affairs (BMDV)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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