Certificate of Equivalence / Gleichwertigkeit Zertificate

The German “Gleichwertigkeit Zertifikat” ( Certificate of Equivalence ) is required for all foreign commercial vessels on coastal voyages in German waters and is issued under the authority of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany by the Berufsgenossenschaft für Transport und Verkehrswirtschaft under the provisions of the Ordinance for the Safety of Seagoing Ships (Schiffssicherheitsverordnung (SchSV)).

The Schiffssicherheitsverordnung contains national implementations of the internationally agreed SOLAS rules into German legislation, such as manning standards, crew certification and safety equipment.


Sometimes a “desktop approval” is granted provided the foreign flagged vessel has the neccessary certificates as required for coastal voyages in German waters. In addition to these certificates the vessel will have to comply with minimum requirements for STCW certification.

If a “desktop approval” is not possible the German authorties can appoint one or more surveyor(s) to survey and inspect the vessel before issuing a Certificate of Equivalence.

Need assistance applying for this certificate? Contact us.