The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard

FPS Mobility and Transport - DG Navigation

Stefaan Verhellen, shipping inspector with Port State Control of FPS Mobility and Transport:

“I inspect foreign vessels in the Belgian harbours. Together with my colleagues I research the structural part, the navigation and communication appliances and the machinery. We also inspect the accommodation, sanitary installations and the kitchen, to make sure that the crew can do their job in decent conditions. Vessels with serious shortcomings have to stay in the harbour until the necessary repairs and improvements have been carried out.”

Stefaan Verhellen - Mobiliteit en Vervoer


Directorate - General (DG) Navigation carries out inspections aboard vessels to check seaworthiness, safety and living conditions aboard. Furthermore the division verifies whether the marine environment is sufficiently protected and whether environment-related directives are respected.

DG Navigaton organises exams and issues permits such as certificates of tonnage and steering licences for shipping traffic. The division is responsible for monitoring the transport of dangerous goods and contributes to the development of national and international regulation for pleasure craft and merchant shipping.