Waterways and Shipping Directorate West

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Waterways and Shipping Directorate West
(WSD West)

State level Federation
Supervisory authority Federal Ministry of Traffic, Construction and City Development
founding January 1, 1976
Headquarters Muenster
Web presence wsd-west.wsv.de
The main administration of the Waterways and Shipping Directorate West.

The Wasser- und Schifffahrtsdirektion West (WSD West) was a federal agency and subordinated to the Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS). The seat was in Munster .

On May 1, 2013, the authority initially became a branch of the General Directorate for Waterways and Shipping (GDWS) and, with the entry into force of the WSV Responsibility Adjustment Act (Federal Law Gazette Part 1 No. 24, 2016, pp. 1257ff), it became the Münster site on June 1, 2016 the GDWS.


As part of the reorganization of Europe after the Congress of Vienna in the years 1814-15, the riparian states of been Rhine obligation concerning this to take care of everything in a joint agreement. This also included Prussia with the Rhine Province . In order to reach appropriate agreements, the neighboring states founded the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine , which was responsible for maintaining the Rhine and was subordinate to the regional presidents in Koblenz , Cologne and Düsseldorf .

In 1851 the "Prussian Rhine River Management" was founded, the first director of which was the government and building councilor Eduard Adolph Nobiling (1801–1882). This administration was attached to the Upper Presidium of the Rhine Province in Koblenz and was responsible for all regulatory and maintenance measures for the Rhine within the entire Rhine Province.

In 1889 the history of the "Water and Shipping Administration" began with the project to build the Dortmund-Ems Canal . The “Royal Canal Commission” established for this purpose began its work on July 1, 1889. After the canal was completed in 1898, the commission was dissolved and at the same time the “Dortmund-Ems Canal Administration” with its seat at the head of the canal was used to manage the canal of the Prussian province of Westphalia in Münster. From 1906 he was also responsible for the "Royal Canal Construction Directorate" founded in Essen , which was responsible for the construction of further canals between the Rhine and Dortmund-Ems Canal. It was to be dissolved again in 1924. The administration of the newly created canals went to the "Dortmund-Ems Canal Administration" in Münster.

After the Weimar Constitution was passed in 1921, the waterways became the property of the Reich. Since then, the waterways department at the Reich Ministry of Transport has been responsible for the construction of waterways . The administration at the local and middle level remained under Prussian control. During the time of National Socialism , however, they were placed under state control and run as waterways management or waterway authorities.

After the end of the Second World War , the administration of the West German canals remained with the Waterways Directorate in Münster. The Duisburg Waterways Directorate was also established for the Rhine stretch. According to Article 89 of the Basic Law created in 1949, the two directorates were also responsible for the administration of the West German waterways from November 1, 1949, after the federal government became the owner of the waterways in Germany. This situation was to persist until January 1, 1976, when the shipping administration was restructured. The two shipping directorates, Münster and Duisburg, were dissolved and replaced by the newly established shipping directorate West based in Münster, which took over the tasks of the previous directorates. At the end of 2005 it had 1,854 employees, 185 of them in administration in Münster.

As a result of the reform of the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration, the Waterways and Shipping Directorate West lost its independence on May 1, 2013 and became the West branch of the General Directorate for Waterways and Shipping.


The Waterways and Shipping Directorate West was responsible for ensuring the safety and ease of traffic on the Rhine federal waterways from the North Rhine-Westphalian border to the Dutch border, Ruhr with the Ruhr shipping canal from the Schlossbrücke in Mülheim an der Ruhr to the confluence with the Rhine, Dortmund-Ems Canal , Datteln-Hamm Canal , Wesel-Datteln Canal , Rhine-Herne Canal , Coastal Canal , Elisabethfehn Canal and the Rhine-Kleve shipping route.

In this context, the authority had to take care of the maintenance and the new construction and expansion of these waterways. She was responsible for averting danger , operating the shipping facilities such as weirs , locks and pumping stations . She had to set the navigation signs on the waterways of her area of ​​responsibility. The Waterways and Shipping Directorate, as the shipping police, directed and regulated traffic on the waterways, examined ships operating there for their safety, issued certificates of proficiency in operating ships and had to prevent environmental damage caused by ships.

Subordinate authorities

The following authorities were subordinate to the Waterways and Shipping Directorate West:

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Organization. Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration , June 2, 2016, accessed on June 7, 2016 .

Coordinates: 51 ° 58 ′ 29.8 "  N , 7 ° 37 ′ 28.5"  E