Transport of packaged goods by sea

The transport of dangerous goods by sea involves special risks for humans and the environment. For this reason, all topics related to safety on board and health protection when transporting containers and goods vehicles containing dangerous goods on seagoing vessels in Germany are being dealt with intensively. The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, which has responsibility for maritime transport, seeks the advice of the BfR in many matters.

Experts from the BfR regularly participate in the working groups organised by the ministry and international organisations. On behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the BfR also advises the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies on the risks on container ships and ferries. Within the framework of the International Maritime Organisation IMO, Germany plays a decisive role in the further development of international standards.

Tasks of the BfR

The main focus of the work concentrates on:

  • Classification, labelling and packaging of dangerous goods for transport at sea
  • Stowage and segregation of dangerous goods at sea
  • Protection of food and animal feed against contamination in containers or on board
  • Risks of fumigated containers
  • Medical first aid in cases of poisoning involving dangerous goods
  • Recommendations for emergency response to spills or fire on board
  • Risk assessment for rescue operations after ship accidents


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