Maritime shipping in the port of Hamburg

The Port of Hamburg is the destination of thousands of ships every year. Especially for martime shipping we look after berths and waiting places and, among other tasks, provide pilots. Special regulations and filing periods can be found here. 

Port of Hamburg GTC as of 01.01.2024 issued 05.10.2023
Port of Hamburg STC Maritime Shipping as of 01.01.2024 issued 05.10.2023
Port of Hamburg pricelist Maritime Shipping as of 01.01.2024 issued 20.10.2023 Version 1.0

Information concerning Maritime Shippping in the port of Hamburg

A permit for the berth must be obtained from the competent maritime police officer (Habours Master's Division). The permit for the berth of a seagoing vessel must be applied for at least 24 hours before arrival, indicating the name of the vessel, its call sign and flag, size and draught, shipping agent, as well as arrival date and time.

The Hamburg Port Authority’s Chief Harbour Master has a large number of berths for seagoing vessels that are dispensed by the port authorities and the nautical centre. The public berths can be made available for mooring without cargo handling temporarily for a fee (excluding deliveries of provisions and material) at the request of the port authorities / the nautical centre.

For exceptionally large vessels (length > 330m and/or width >45m), hover, aerofoil and high-speed craft to enter the port, a permit must be obtained in writing from the general policy department.

Permits for exceptionally large vessels

The intended passage of “Elbe 1” must be communicated to the Chief Harbour Master’s nautical centre by email or fax (+49 (0) 40 /​428 473 701) at least 24 hours before arrival at the “Elbe 1” lighthouse. Outgoing seagoing vessels must indicate their time of departure at least two hours beforehand to the competent authority.

Seagoing vessels designated by the competent authority and inland waterway vessels equipped with VHF (including towing and pushing units) must submit position reports in German, indicating their name, size and course when entering, leaving and navigating the port. These vessels must report their passage of the domestic border at Tinsdal and Oortkaten as well as their entry and exit from the port of Hamburg to Hamburg Port Traffic.


At the port of Hamburg, the harbour pilotage ordinance from 19 December 1995 applies. All skippers of (inland waterway) tankers as defined in section 30, paragraph 1, are obligated to accept the harbour pilotage service. The skipper can exempt himself from the pilotage obligation in the port of Hamburg if he has navigated the port ten times under pilotage guidance and has subsequently completed two probational passages.

These passages must be submitted by declaration to the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) Chief Harbour Master. The harbour pilots can be reached by calling the following telephone numbers:
+49 407 401 680 / +49 407 402 610.

In the event an inland waterway tanker coming from the Upper Elbe requires a harbour pilot, the pilotage for the southern stretch of the Elbe will be assumed at the Finkenriek water stair #4 and the pilotage for the northern stretch of the Elbe at the Entenwerder road vehicle loading facility. When ordering harbour pilotage, please indicate at which of the two positions the harbour pilotage should be assumed. In addition, the harbour pilotage guild requests that the vessel’s measurements and billing address be communicated.

The port fees office is your contact for all questions regarding port fees and port usage fees of the Port of Hamburg. The fees to be paid are based on the Hamburg port terms and conditions provided above, the special conditions for seagoing vessels as well as the price list for seagoing vessels.

The registration as well as the preparation of the port dues declaration for seagoing vessels is done via the portal "Must-Have".

The harbor dues office is part of the MARITIME AFFAIRS department, which takes care of all non-nautical issues and matters concerning the Port of Hamburg and is therefore in regular dialogue with shipowners, shipping agencies and interest groups.

We are also happy to refer other concerns for this clientele to the responsible HPA staff.

The contact persons for all cruise ship owners are the colleagues at Cruise Gate Hamburg, who are responsible for the operation of the cruise terminals in Hamburg and the allocation of berths.

We would like to point out at this point that the HPA is primarily responsible for the infrastructure in the port of Hamburg.

Port state controls do not fall under the responsibility of the HPA . These are carried out by the "Dienststelle Schiffssicherheit".

For questions regarding cargo handling, please contact the terminal operator or the shipping company concerned directly.

Contact Public berths

Information about public berths: Port authority West

​Port master's office

Port authority West

Contact person AGF

Information about entry conditions for exceptionally large vessels (AGF) 

Phone: +49 (0) 40 42847-2575



Information about possible exemptions from the pilotage obligation:

Exemption from the duty to carry a pilot

Information Pilot ladder

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