Germany has an economically efficient network of waterways. The transport capacity of inland navigation is approximately 62 billion tonne-kilometres per year or around 60% of the transport capacity of long-distance goods transport by railway. In fact some 250 million tonnes of goods are handled every year at Germany's North and Baltic Sea ports. The 7,300 km of German federal waterways form an important part of the European waterways network. In addition, Germany's coastal waterways cover a surface of 23,000 km².
The BAW is the technical and scientific federal authority of the BMVBS. We are the central providers of consultancy and expert opinion services to the BMVBS and the WSV relating to their waterways engineering tasks and in particular concerning their construction supervision responsibility for ensuring that all federal waterway structures and facilities comply with safety and other regulations. Our work is an important contribution to ensuring that waterways in Germany meet ever tougher technical, economic and ecological demands. We have extensive expertise and experience in the field of waterways engineering and, as key players in the ongoing development of this discipline, enjoy a formidable reputation in the national and international scientific community.
Section 45 (3) Federal Waterways Act The WSV uses the services provided by the following specialist technical authorities: the BAW, the BfG and - with regard to fishing issues - the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, an independent federal authority operating under the auspices of the BMELV.