Annual Report 2023

Legal framework

In its business operations, HHLA is subject to numerous German and foreign statutory provisions and regulations such as public law, trade, customs, labour, capital market and competition regulations. Its pricing is determined by the market and is, as a matter of principle, not regulated.

The regulatory environment for HHLA’s commercial activities in and around the Port of Hamburg is largely determined by the Hamburg Port Development Act (Hamburgisches Hafenentwicklungsgesetz – HafenEG). HafenEG’s objectives are to maintain the Port of Hamburg’s competitiveness as an international all-purpose port, to safeguard freight volumes and to use the public infrastructure as efficiently as possible. To this end, the Port of Hamburg employs a “landlord model”, under which the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) owns the port areas and is responsible for building, developing and maintaining the infrastructure, while the privately owned port operators are responsible for the development and maintenance of the suprastructure (buildings and facilities). HHLA has concluded long-lease agreements with HPA for those port areas of importance to its business operations. Lease agreements are largely based on HPA’s general terms and conditions for port-related real estate.

For the construction, operation, expansion and alteration of its handling facilities, HHLA is reliant on the issuance and continued existence of authorisations under public law, especially authorisations in accordance with the German Federal Emissions Control Act (Bundesimmissionsschutzgesetz – BImSchG), the applicable local building regulations, water and waterways laws, as well as any necessary planning permissions. HHLA’s affiliated companies are subject to a number of strict regulatory requirements. In particular, these include regulations concerning the handling, storage and transport of environmentally harmful substances and hazardous goods, as well as rules concerning technical safety, health and safety in the workplace and environmental protection.

The security requirements at ports are mainly set out in the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), which, in the area of the Port of Hamburg, is implemented and specified by the German Port Security Act (Hafensicherheitsgesetz – HafenSG). The operators of port facilities – and thus also HHLA – are required to observe strict access control requirements and numerous other measures for averting danger.

The regulatory environment for business activities in the Intermodal segment is largely determined by the EU directive establishing a single European railway area (Directive 2012/34/EU) and the EU directive on railway safety (Directive 2016/798), together with the national executive orders and implementing legislation. In particular, these include regulations governing the licensing of rail companies, the use of railway infrastructure and the associated fees as well as rail operation, safety and maintenance. The main legislation in Germany is the General Railways Act (Allgemeines Eisenbahngesetz – AEG), which sets out the requirements for rail operation, and the Railway Regulation Act (Eisenbahnregulierungsgesetz – ERegG), which, in particular, regulates network access and route pricing. In addition, there are further national, European and – especially for transnational rail transport – international regulations.

The legal framework for HHLA is subject to constant change at national, European and international level in order to keep pace with technical progress and increased sensitivity with regard to safety and environmental concerns, among other things, as well as to safeguard human rights along the supply chain.

Intermodal/Intermodal systems
Transportation via several modes of transport (water, rail, road) combining the specific advantages of the respective carriers.

Topic filter