Germany's most important seaports are located at the coast of the Baltic Sea, and belong to separate states.

The policy of these ports regarding the disposal of ships' waste can differ from port to port. A small review of the different ports:

1. Hamburg

With a 5 million inhabitants in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, and the sixth largest city in the EU. Situated on the river Elbe, the port of Hamburg is the second largest port in Europe - after the Port of Rotterdam - and the 10th largest worldwide.

Hamburg is a major transport hub in Northern Germany and one of the richest cities in Europe. The city also is a major media and industrial centre, has been the main financial centre for centuries, is and a tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors. In 2012, Hamburg ranked 17th in the world for liveability.

Port Of Hamburg, Gateway to the world

With a surface area of 7200 hectares, a throughput of around 10,000 ships a year, and total cargo handled of 132.2 million tonnes (2011), the Port of Hamburg is one of the largest and most important sea ports in the world.

Hamburg in figures:

  • In comparison to other EU ports, Hamburg is placed third when it comes to sea cargo handling and second in container handling.
  • the third largest of Germany's inland ports
  • Largest railway port in Europe - owning 304 km of railway and 880 points. More than 200 freight trains with 5000 trucks a day make Hamburg Europe's largest railway port and the world's second largest. No wonder it calls itself Gateway to the World.

Port reception facilities of Hamburg

The Port of Hamburg offers a wide range of solutions for seagoing vessels, inland vessels and port vessels for the disposal of oily waste, ship-generated waste water, chemicals and solid waste. Ship-generated waste has to be delivered at the port reception facilities. Eighteen tankers with a capacity of 4250m³ are available around the clock for the waterside disposal of liquid and solid waste. One such tanker carries easily inflammable liquids.

Regulation and tariffs disposal of garbage and sludge

In Hamburg the organization of the collection of ships' waste is in the hands of the Ministry of Environment. The ministry collects the disposal fees and will pay the PRF's. The most recent regulations and tariffs can be found in this linked document. Turn to page three for the fees.

MARPOL Service provider in the picture: HÖG: cutting-edge technology in waste disposal & recycling

HÖG (Hamburger Ölverwertungs Gesellschaft mbH), a subsidiary of the long-established Eckelmann Group, is a registered specialist waste disposal company with a recycling facility. Working with cutting-edge technology, HÖG has set the standards for environmental protection for more than fifty years, making it the oldest and most experienced recycling company in Hamburg. The facility with a tank volume of 35,000 cubic metres is located in the heart of the Port of Hamburg. Annually, HÖG receives and processes more than 70,000 tons of liquid hazardous waste from the shipping industry.

Services: disposal and utilization of industrial and commercial waste

  • Disposal and treatment of pump able waste materials from the shipping industry
  • Treatment of water mixed with emulsions, wax, oil and sludge
  • Chemical-physical treatment and biological cleansing of oily waste water from shipping, chemical and commercial industries
  • MARPOL treatment facility
  • Taking delivery of oily residues from the shipping industry in compliance with the MARPOL Convention
  • Treatment and processing of slop and bilge water as well as ballast and rinsing water
  • Treatment and processing of residues from tank cleaning
  • Fuel processing
  • Heated tank farms

More information on the Port of Hamburg

2. Bremen and Bremerhafen

World port in good hands

The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, some 60 km (37 mi) south from the Weser mouth on the North Sea. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the River Weser, Bremen is the third most populous city in Northern Germany and tenth in Germany.

The terminals in Bremen and Bremerhaven handle practically all kinds of freight, ranking them amongst the most important universal ports in Europe. They have excellent overseas and hinterland connections, an efficient cruise terminal, outstanding logistics expertise, and a highly qualified and motivated skilled workforce.

Divide and conquer

Bremen and Bremerhaven are an important logistics hub for the automotive industry, consolidating and distributing parts and kits for assembly lines all over the globe. The division of labour is the key to the success of the twin ports.

  • Bremerhaven lies directly at the mouth of the river Weser where the water is deep enough for sea going ships. It therefore is the port of choice for container vessels, car carriers and refrigerated fruit carriers and accounts for approx. 80 per cent of the total freight volume handled by the port group. The maritime city is one of Europe's leading car hubs: some two million vehicles are handled every year. Bremerhaven is also evolving into a major location for the offshore wind energy industry.
  • Bremen's city ports, on the other hand, are specialists for handling conventional break bulk and heavy lift cargo. Bulk goods are also handled here. Numerous logistics centres are based in Bremen, together with Germany's leading Freight Village.

Port Reception Facilities

The company Bremenports GmbH & Co. KG has been entrusted by the Senator for Economic Affairs and Ports with levying and collecting the port charges, including the waste disposal fees. Disposal of ship-generated waste is charged on the basis of 48-hour periods. Tariffs can be found here.

MARPOL service provider in the picture: GRAUE: disposal with caution

GRAUE protects the environment. The MARPOL service provider specialises in the disposal of specialist waste such as slop, sludge, bilge and ballast, GRAUE has been in the business for more than 20 years, serving the German ports of Bremen, Bremerhaven, Brake and Nordenham.


  • Oily waste collection on shore and at sea. Graues tankers and tanker trucks collect pumpable oily wasteat sea as well as from the land side.
  • Oil recycling: GRAUEs oil recycling plant in Nordenham-Blexen reprocesses oil-water mixtures and waste oil from shipping and industry are being processed. GRAUE avoids chemical additives and the entire process is therefore accomplished using only thermal-physical and biological methods. Their Dual System thus helps to reduce pressure on the environment while conserving resources.
  • Bunkering Services. GRAUE supplies fuel oil and lubricants delivered to ships either by barge or directly from the company's tank depot in Bremerhaven.

More information

3. Wilhelmshaven

Wilhelmshaven is Germany's only deep water port, and its largest naval base. The benefits of the deep shipping channel were already recognized at the end of the 1950s with the construction of the first oil tanker jetty. Wilhelmshaven has been the most important German import terminal for crude oil ever since. Pipelines from here supply refineries in the Rhine-Ruhr region and Hamburg. Other major business operations followed, and constructed jetties for crude oil and oil products, coal and chemical products.

One of the main industrial sectors in Wilhelmshaven is the port industry with its wharfs, sea port service companies, service providers and repair businesses, transhipment and handling businesses, and agencies, etc. The JadeWeserPort – Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven (CTW) and the development of the neighbouring Freight Village provide prospects for employment in areas such as logistics and distribution.

Another element of the Wilhelmshaven Energy Hub Programme is the chemical industry (refinery, PVC and chlorine gas production) as well as power generation (two coal-fired power stations, wind power).

More information: