Permits for Shooting in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein

Notice on the pandemic situation - state of 2023:
Filming in closed interior sets and studios as well as on exterior public grounds is allowed and permits can be applied for at the local authorities. All film crews working in public have to follow authority regulations and safety protocols to minimize the infection risks. Please find english guidelines for working in Germany here: COVID-19 Guidlines


Filming in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein requires comparatively little regulatory expenditure. In contrast to other Federal States, a »general shooting permit« is not required. Generally speaking, a permit is required in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein when shooting for a film in public spaces causes an impairment of motorists, residents or other third parties. This tends to be the case when light and camera equipment is set up, or the laying of supply lines is required on public paths.

If no such impaitments are to be expected, e.g. when shooting with a simple hand camera without further equipment, permits tend not to be required.

Should shooting call for additional measures such as road blocks, stopping restrictions and the like, an additional exemption permit pertaining to traffic law (»straßenrechtliche Ausnahmegenehmigung«) must be duly applied for. Both permits can be applied for by filling in the Film Commission's so-called motif-sheet (»Motivbogen«). The use of public waterways, landscape conversation areas and natural reserves also tends to be subject to authorisation, as is the case with night-time, traffic and aerial filming, the use of trailers and heavy goods transports. 

Shooting with children requires an exemption permit due to the prohibition to employ minors. The permit regulates at what times and for how long boys and girls may be permitted to work, how many rests they require and what the maximum allowable time is that they may spend on the set.

Information on the authorities responsible, the respective proceedings and the costs can be attained with the staff of the Film Commission in Hamburg an Kiel.

Alexandra Luetkens
Film Commission Hamburg