COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

As you have already noticed, the situation changes from hour to hour. In order to provide you with timely and correct information, the Directorate-General Shipping (DGS) has created a specific “COVID-19 (Coronavirus)” web page. On this page the DGS will regularly post information related to the Coronavirus that may be useful to you. Therefore, please consult this page regularly.


You can find an overview of general information for Belgium here


Front offices - Services


Brussels, Ostend, Ghent

As a result of the measures taken in the fight against COVID-19, we have been forced to temporarily discontinue our front office activities. However, our service remains guaranteed. We would therefore urge our customers to conduct their correspondence electronically as much as possible. Documents will be authenticated by means of an electronic signature.




As a result of the measures taken in the fight against COVID-19, we have adapted our infrastructure.  The front offices are reopened for visitors. Please follow the hygiene rules. We recommend that our customers conduct their correspondence electronically as much as possible.

The front offices in Antwerp are open to the public at the following times:

  • Ship management: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning from 09:00 to 11:45 (closed on Wednesdays).
  • Belgian Ship Register: Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 11:45.


Operational measures

The Directorate-General for Shipping has taken a number of operational measures in the fight against COVID-19. You can find an overview in the table below.



Merchant shipping

 BMI Circular 2020/002 (PDF, 276.18 KB): Operational measures concerning certification related to Covid-19.

 BMI Circular 2020/005: (PDF, 223.33 KB)  Seafarers’ Employment on board during COVID-19.  


 Circular Fishery 2020/001 (PDF, 198.57 KB)

Recreational boating

Recreational boating: Recreational boating, surfing and water sports are authorized under specified conditions (see protocol on this page - French version).

Exams: All exams are cancelled until 13/12/2021. They will resume on 14 December.

The implementation of practical exams has been postponed until 01/07/2021

All further information on recreational boating can be found on this page (FR).

Inland waterway transport

The federal government does not stipulate any specific measures regarding inland waterway transport.

Communication of the Flemish Region - Maatregelen COVID-19-virus

Communication of the Walloon Region - Guichet de la navigation

Port security

DG Shipping, together with the Belgian National Crisis Centre, monitors the ISPS facilities and the ports in such a way that they can continue the activity necessary for society.  Port facilities are granted a postponement for the renewal of their certificates. An interim arrangement can be made for port facilities whose certificate expires on the basis of Article 5, 4° of European Regulation 2004/725.

Recognition Institutions You can find all informations in the following document:  information about our services during the COVID-19 crisis (DOCX, 19.56 KB)



Advice and info from international organisations

Here you will find useful links to the relevant pages or documents of international organisations and the European Union regarding the (management of the) current Covid-19 pandemic.



·        Overview of the measures concerning transport taken by the Europpean Union (external link)

·        Overview of the measures having an impact on transport sorted by Member State of the EU (external link)

·        The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)

·        Central Commission for the navigation of the Rhine (CCR)

.        Guidance on repatriating cruise ship passengers and protecting ship crews (external link) 


International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

·        International Maritime organisation (external link)

.        Measures in other countries

.         Seafarers are key workers (BE) (PDF, 254.64 KB)


World Health Organisation (WHO)

·        Operational considerations for managing COVID-19 cases/outbreak on board ships