The Harbour Master's Division (DHMR) is responsible for the safe, smooth, clean and secure handling of shipping in the port of Rotterdam. The Harbour Master’s Division is part of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. It oversees safety on the water, by order of the Rotterdam Municipality and the Dutch government. With modern patrol boats and a high-tech traffic control system, the Harbour Master's Division supervises and controls shipping traffic, day and night. As an official emergency service the Harbour Master's Division, together with the other aid agencies, is charged with safeguarding continuity and safety of shipping traffic and the surrounding areas.
How the Harbour Master's Division works:
- Harbour Coordination Centre: the Harbour Coordination Centre controls planning and access of vessels.
- Vessel traffic service operators: from two traffic control centres the traffic service operators monitor all vessels which enter and leave the port of Rotterdam or travel through it. The operators can track the vessels on their radars and maintain contact with them.
- Harbour patrol boats: the patrol boats, RPA vessels, are responsible for inspection and enforcement on the water. If necessary the patrol boats guide vessels physically and assist vessels in the event of incidents.
- Inspection: inspectors from the Harbour Master’s Division check whether vessels comply with the shipping regulations concerning environment and safety. In the event of incorrect or unsafe actions, measures are taken. In addition, systematic checks are carried out to make sure shipping companies and agents comply with the statutory administrative reporting obligations. In accordance with the Harbour Master’s Covenant, the Harbour Master has set standards for the Safety Environmental Index (SEI).
- Port Health Authority: the Harbour Master is a member of the Port Health Authority. In the event of epidemics on board, the Port Health Authority advises and guides vessels.
- Port Security: the Harbour Master is responsible for Port Security.
Safety on land
By order of the Rotterdam Municipality and the Province of South-Holland, the DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond (DCMR) and Safety Region Rotterdam Rijnmond (VRR) oversee safety on land. The Port of Rotterdam Authority participates actively in incident control in and around the port.