How to file an application:
An application for licensing under sect. 31 (1) Trade Regulation Code may be filed if you intend to safeguard commercially life and property of other persons on board ocean-going vessels seaward the boundaries of the German exclusive economic zone to ward off external dangers (guarding and security missions).
The application may be filed using the electronic application form.
There are only three steps to file the application:
- Complete electronic application form online and send it
- Upload the necessary verification documents
- Print out completed application form, sign it and upload it via the electronic upload form
You have to provide information about your company, the responsible principle executive, liability insurance and, if applicable, certification or licences issued by other states etc.
For an initial licence the following proofs or evidence documents have to be enclosed:
- Documentation of company’s organization, according to sect. 4 (1) of the Ordinance on the Licensing of Security Companies on Ocean-Going Vessels Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels
- Process manual on procedures, sect. 5 (1) Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels
- Standing orders, sect. 5 (2) Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels
- List of equipment used by security company, sect. 6 (1) first sentence Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels
- records under sect. 11 (2) to (4) Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels for the designated executive under sect. 4 (1) second 2 number 1 Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels
- Proof of liability insurance under sect. 12 Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels
- Company profile containing a description of the market position of the security company in the field of maritime security, sect. 2 (2) Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels
Thereof, a certified translation of an extract from judicial records (police clearance certificate) or equivalent document by the foreign competent judicial or administrative authority for presentation to an authority pursuant to sect. 30 (5) of Federal Central Criminal Register Act of the following documents – unless available in German – must be presented.
All the other documents may be submitted in English language. However, BAFA may request translations of selected documents.
Please note that you have to retain all records on business transactions and operations under sect. 13 Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels.
In order to check whether you fulfil the conditions for licensing, and you can provide all the required documents, please complete the self-assessment sheet with the checklist and send it together with the application documents to BAFA.
Recognition of Foreign Licences and Certifications
For an application pursuant to sect. 15 Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels for the recognition of a foreign government licence or state-recognized certification it is sufficient to provide first of all:
- Copy of licence or certification (with certified translation into German language) and
- All the legal bases relevant for granting the foreign licence or certification (with certified translation into German language)
The licence is issued for a period of two years. If you intend to continue security operations on board ocean-going vessels after expiry of the licence duration, then you will have to file an application for a subsequent licence, in due time (preferably 6 months before expiry of the initial licence). It is also required for a subsequent application to submit the documents according to sect. 2 (2) Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels. In this respect, there is no change to an application for initial licence.
Subsequent licences are likewise issued for a period of two years.
When you file an application fees are payable.
The amount of the fees is determined by the Regulation on fees and expenses of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control in connection with the licencing of security companies on board ocean-going vessels. Only the legally binding version in German is available (Federal Gazette I p. 4110).
The duties of security companies licensed under section 31 of the Trade Regulations Code include regular reporting and notification under sect. 14 (1) to (3), (4) Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels.
The obligations include, inter alia:
- notification about a security deployment on ocean-going vessels
- reports about
- organisational changes
- exchange of the designated executive
- changes regarding procedures
- use of firearms (must additionally be reported via e-mail to the Federal Police BPOL.SEE.PPZ@polizei.bund.de)
- loss or replacement of weapons or ammunition
Please use the electronic Report Form for deployment notifications.
In case of notifications of changes according to sect. 14 (3) Ordinance on the Licensing of Security companies on Ocean-Going Sea Vessels, as well as the loss or replacement of weapons and ammunition you are required to upload a corresponding declaration and the relevant documents via the Upload Form.
Please note that the reports and notifications must be submitted only after the completion of the licensing procedure.
List of Licensed Companies
Below BAFA publishes a list of the security companies presently licensed under section 31 (1) Trade Regulation Act. The list is regularly updated.
List of licensed companies
|Company Name||Address||Phone||E-Mail||Fax||Licensed since|
|Bowline Defence Ltd.||25 Park Lane, London W1K 1RA (U.K.)||+44 (0) email@example.com||+44 (0) 207 4994991||05.12.2016|
|Condor IMS GmbH||Essener Straße 4, Haus D3, 22419 Hamburg||+49 (0)firstname.lastname@example.org||+49 (0)20184153151||27.07.2018|
|ESC OÜ||Vabaõhumuuseumi 3/ Mõisa 4, 14th floor, 13522 Tallinn, Estonia||+372 email@example.com||+372 6510009||20.11.2017|
|i.b.s. International Operative Services e. K.||Lindenstraße 11, 27419 Sittensen||+49 (0)firstname.lastname@example.org||+49 (0)40879798511||15.03.2017|
|ISN International Security Network GmbH||Montreal Avenue D415, 77836 Rheinmünster||+49 (0) email@example.com||+49 (0) 72296976999||02.03.2017|
|Protection Vessels International Ltd.||Unit 13-14, Swallowcourt, Devonshire Gate, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 7EJ (U. K.)||+44 (0)1884 849 firstname.lastname@example.org||-||17.11.2017|
|Salama Fikira International Ltd.||Level 3 Alexander House, 35 Cybercity Ebene, Mauritius||+254 702 114 email@example.com||+254 (0)20 269 3846||21.11.2017|
The reporting is pursuant to section 31 (6) Trade Regulation Code.
The listed companies have agreed to the publication of their data.
Licence under the Weapons Act
To enable security operatives to acquire, possess and carry guns and ammunition necessary for their security tasks on vessels flying the German flag it is necessary to apply for a permit under the Weapons Act pursuant to section 28a in conjunction with section 48 (1) sentence 2 Weapons Act in addition to the licence issued by BAFA.
This permit under Weapons Act is issued for all applying companies throughout Germany by the Authority for Internal Affairs and Sports – Weapons Authority – of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
Security companies which are established in Germany and intend to take over guarding and security missions on board ocean-going vessels under a foreign flag, using weapons acquired in Germany, have to apply for the permission to acquire and possess weapons on German sovereign territory at the local regulatory authority. The special responsibility of the Hamburg weapons authority does not apply in this case.
War weapons in accordance with the Annex to the War Weapons Control Act (War Weapons List) are excluded from the licence.
Documents required when applying for weapons permits for maritime security missions on ocean-going vessels at the Hamburg weapons authority:
- Application for a permit under section 28a Weapons Act (permit to acquire, possess and carry guns and ammunition by security operators and their personnel on ocean-going vessels flying the German flag)
- Company manager: identity card or passport, including certificate of registration; a foreign manager needs a police clearance certificate in addition
- Staff: Copy of ID, copy of employment contract, foreign personnel: police clearance certificate, certificate of weapons expertise and knowledge of the German arms legislation and the related laws and regulations
- Executive staff/ in charge of weapons: must have the power of procuration! Proof of weapons expertise (other than the general knowledge examination of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce) and instructions on the German arms legislation and the related laws and regulations
- Proof of safekeeping at German company headquarters or respective storage location and safekeeping policy on board
Fees and charges
Depend on complexity of each case
Office of Internal Affairs and Sports – Weapons Authority – Hamburg
Grüner Deich 1
Phone: +49 40 42 8667 601
Fax: +49 40 427314042
Licence under Export Control Law
The private security companies established in Germany also need an export licence granted by the BAFA in addition to the permission under trade regulation code and the weapon owner’s licence.
The delivery or carrying of weapons and listed equipment out of Germany for use on ocean-going vessels in international waters is an export subject to licensing pursuant to section 8 of the Foreign Trade and Payments Regulation and, if applicable, under Article 4 (1) of Regulation (EU) Number 258/2012 (firearms regulation). Since the weapons and other equipment necessary for the security company are not supposed to remain in the third countries the transaction is considered a temporary export of these goods which also requires an export licence.
BAFA offers the collective licence procedure for repeated temporary exports; it permits exports and transfers of goods subject to licensing to different countries and different consignees. The application for such a collective licence procedure licence requires in particular a well-functioning internal export control system (ICP). In this case the private security services can benefit from the insights into the admission procedure (see above). In fact, private security services have to install their own ICP in order to manage and comply with the collective licence procedure licences granted.
The permit under section 31 Trade Regulation Code is necessary for the granting of the collective licence procedure. The validity of the collective licence procedure is basically identical with that of the permit under section 31 Trade Regulation Code.
War weapons within the meaning of the Annex to the War Weapons Control Act (War Weapons List) are excluded from approval.
The collective licence procedure may be applied for at www.ausfuhrkontrolle.info (sub-title application filing in the electronic application portal "ELAN-K2").
The reports required under collective licence procedure may also be submitted electronically.