Number for recreational or commercial shipping; application for a Ship Station License

The Federal Network Agency allocates numbers for recreational and commercial shipping in the form of a Ship Station License upon application. You must also notify certain changes.


For communication on the water, ships use marine and inland waterway radio. Before you put your radio equipment into operation on board your ship, a valid number assignment (Ship Station License) is required.
You must apply for this from the Federal Network Agency.
To be able to use radio communication, the Federal Network Agency assigns you a call sign. A number assignment is also required if you want to operate a marine distress radio transmitter, for example an emergency radio beacon (EPIRB). The numbers are assigned to you in the form of a Ship Station License.

For new applications, all required information must be provided in the application and the necessary supporting documents must be attached to the application.

For changes of:

  • Name of the allottee
  • Address
  • Name of the vessel
  • Type of vessel
  • Type and number of radio equipment
  • Discontinuation of the accounting identification code (AAIC)

you are required to apply for an amendment to the Ship Station License.
Changes, such as the dimensions of the ship or the details of the 24-hour emergency contact are subject to notification. This data is passed on to the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) and is very important in the event of an emergency at sea.

If the numbers are no longer required, a declaration of surrender must be made by all assignment holders listed in the certificate (important in the case of a community of owners).

In case of sale of a vessel, the numbers can be transferred to the buyer as legal successor in order to avoid the discontinuation of the radio equipment with new numbers. For this purpose, an application must be made to the Federal Network Agency for an adjustment of the previously valid number assignment.


In order to submit a new application for number assignment, you must own a German vessel.

German ships are those that

  • are registered in the German register of seagoing vessels or inland waterway vessels in accordance with the relevant regulations.
  • are provided with a valid official or officially recognized German license plate, if there is no obligation to register the ship.
  • are owned by a German national if there is neither a registration nor a license plate requirement for the vessel.

In addition, you may only use radio equipment that meets the European Union (EU) requirements on marine equipment. In addition, your radio equipment must comply with the legal requirements.


By mail or e-mail:

  • Go to the website of the Federal Network Agency and download the form.
  • Fill out everything, save the form or print it out and send it together with the documents to the Federal Network Agency by e-mail or by post.
  • You will receive the Ship Station License and the fee notice with appeal instructions by mail after successful examination.

Special notes

Applications with incorrect information will not be processed. The BNetzA will contact you in this case for correction.
Existing allocations of call signs issued under the previous frequency allocations for mobile maritime and inland waterway radio stations (frequency allocation certificates) remain valid.
There are no plans to replace the existing certificates with new Ship Station Licenses. The certificates issued before 01.01.2019 remain valid internationally as long as you do not make any changes to the radio station.


The application documents must be complete within 2 weeks, otherwise the application cannot be processed and the application data will be deleted.

Processing time

1 bis 4 Wochen

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    New application:

    • If your vessel is already registered in the register of seagoing vessels or inland waterway vessels: copy of the register extract.
    • If your vessel is not yet registered in a maritime vessel register: the marked distinction signal with proof

    Change request:

    • Re-application formcurrent assignment number and the call sign of the assignment.

    Return of numbers:

    • Certificate of assignment in original


    • Documents for the sale/acquisition of the vessel

    You can find out which other documents are required in your case in the corresponding application form.



  • Fees:
    The assignment of numbers - and, under certain circumstances, their rejection - is subject to a fee. The amount of the fees is determined in accordance with the Special Fees Ordinance of the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA BGebV), as amended. The allocation fees are steering fees. The actual fee amount is calculated depending on the specific allocation parameters.

    In addition, the holder of a number/frequency assignment must pay annual contributions. The amount of these contributions is determined in accordance with the Frequency Protection Contribution Ordinance (FSBeitrV), as amended. The basis for determining the contribution rates is the actual expenses/costs eligible for contribution incurred in a calendar year for the respective user group. These can only be determined retrospectively. A contribution forecast is not possible. The costs are not constant, as they depend on various and variable factors, such as the volume of disruptions in the contribution year in question. For these reasons, the contribution rates are subject to fluctuations.


  • Appeal. Further information on how to lodge an appeal can be found in the decision or the fee notice on your application.
  • Action before the administrative court


Responsible for editing:Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr

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