Certification of Ship Lights

This page contains detailed information about ship's light certification in several countries.

The Netherlands

Certification of Dutch ship lights

A branch facility of the KNMI, with locations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, inspected the ship lamps. The first inspection took place in 1894 in Rotterdam and lasted until 1974. After that, ship lights manufacturers themselves were responsible for the certification. The certification location can easily be recognized; in Amsterdam, it had an A, and in Rotterdam an R.

The inspection- and/or certification number of the ship lamps used in the Netherlands are provided with a letter and several numbers. This inspection number was engraved in the glass and hammered into the lantern. One certificate always had to be present on the ship, while a duplicate went into the archives of the KNMI.

In 1965 the certification numbering procedure changed to 6 characters. The first two of them state the year of certification.

The first certicate from 1894


Certification of Belgium ship lights

In Belgium the ship lamps where approved by the “Federale Overheidsdienst Mobiliteit en Vervoer” (Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport). The certificate you see above has been used for the certification.
Ship lights were approved with a number and circle with an anchor with a rope, with the letters B and I next to it.


Certification of German ship lights

During the past centuries, several organizations have been responsible for certifying german ship lamps. The ship's lights were inspected from 1875 to 1945 by DS - Deutsche Seewarte (German sea guard). From 1945 to 1990 by DHI (BRD) Deutsche Hydrographic Institut (German Hydrographic Institute) & DSRK (DDR) Deutsche Schiffs-Revision und Klassifikation (German ship revision and classification).

In 1990, after the reunification of Germany, DHI and DSRK merged into BSH, which is still responsible for inspecting ship lamps. BSH stands for Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrten und Hydrographie (Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency)

You will find the abbreviation DHI on many ship lamps.

This number consists of XX/YY/ZZ, Manufacturer/lamp type/registration year.

Number Meaning
01 Ahlemann + Schlatter, Aqua Signal
02 Peters + Bey

The certificate you see below has been used for the certification of ship lights by DHI and DSRK.