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Reporting Obligations and border control

In the Port of Hamburg, the water police takes care of border police tasks and requires specific data for this purpose.

The captain (or, alternatively, the shipowners or their authorized representatives) of a seagoing ship arriving from a foreign port has to send a list of the crew members, passengers and other persons on board prior to approaching the port of Hamburg with details of

  • family name, given name
  • date and place of birth
  • nationality
  • kind and number of identity document
  • if available: Visa number / number of the residence permit
  • for crew members: Function on board
  • Port of embarkation and disembarkation (only for passengers and other persons on board) and
  • Notifying body.

Reporting obligations under other legislation remain unaffected.

The data must be transmitted electronically in encrypted form in xml format in accordance with the format description in the appendix and according to the respective state of the art:

  • at least 24 hours in advance or
  • at the latest when the ship leaves the previous port if the duration of the journey is less than 24 hours, or
  • as soon as Hamburg is known as a port of call, if this information is available less than 24 hours before arrival. 

This duty also applies to the captain of sporting or tourist purposes serving watercraft, in which case the report must be made at the latest without delay after reaching the berth.

The list of crew members and, if applicable, passengers must include the following information of all persons on board: surname, first name, nationality, date and place of birth, nature and number of the identity document, number of the visa and Port of embarkation and disembarkation (only for passengers and other persons on board).

These data are to be transmitted electronically to the postbox

The obligation to report is also considered fulfilled if it is carried out electronically using the National Single Window (NSW) set up by the responsible Federal Ministry.

Information about the National Single Window - NSW can be found here:

Information about the xml format description and further notes regarding the encryption are included in the download area.


For questions and further information on border police topics, the staff of WSP 62 are available under the numbers +49 40 4286-65492 and +49 40 4286-65493.

Frequently asked questions: FAQ