Bureau Veritas 190+ Years of Innovation

Our history

  • HISTORY OF BUREAU VERITAS

    • 1828: The birth of Bureau Veritas. In the winter of 1821, violent storms raged across Europe causing some 2,000 shipwrecks and 20,000 deaths. The situation was disastrous for insurance companies. Most of them went bankrupt, and for those that survived the competition in coming years from newcomers in the market was particularly fierce. It was during this critical period that two underwriters, Alexandre Delehaye and Louis van den Broek, and an insurance broker, Auguste Morel, established the Bureau de Renseignements pour les Assurances Maritimes (Information Office for Maritime Insurance).

      Founded in Antwerp (Belgium) in June 1828, the company had a simple mission: to keep underwriters up to date with the various premiums in use at different commercial centers and to provide all the necessary information for determining the level of confidence in ships and equipment.

    • 1829: The company was renamed Bureau Veritas, the first Register was published - which included 10,000 ships - and an emblem for Truth was adopted as the company insignia.

    • 1830: A branch office was created in Paris.

    • 1833: Activity had expanded so much that the head office was transferred to the French capital.

    • 1869-1875: The Bureau's presence did not go unnoticed in other fields. The company was quoted in three Jules Verne novels: 
      - "20,000 Leagues under the Sea" (1869); 
      - "The Mysterious Island" (1874); 
      - "The Survivors of the Chancellor" (1875).

    • 1910: With the expansion of the Industrial Revolution, Bureau Veritas broadened its range of services. The introduction of iron and steel into ship building had made materials inspection at production sites crucial. In 1910 a new service was created, "Control of Materials". Its purpose was to examine all the materials used in everything from industrial equipment, to diesel motors, locomotives and the like, as well as the very factories themselves.

    • 1929: With the increasing number of accidents during the construction boom that followed the First World War, insurers realized they could no longer cover the risks unless there were pre-existing controls in place. Again Bureau Veritas responded to the market, and in 1929 it established the "Control Service for Buildings & Civil Engineering".

    • 1932: Bureau Veritas had established its own laboratories at Levallois-Perret near Paris for metallurgical and chemical analysis, and the testing of building materials.

    • 1980-1990: Expanding entrepreneurship, 1980-1990. Between 1980 and 1990 Bureau Veritas set up a number of new subsidiaries in response to specific needs. 

      • Bivac - In 1984 the government of Nigeria approached Bureau Veritas to deliver pre-shipment inspection of imports. It was a brand new business venture for the company, and one that it would quickly master and take to other countries. A global network was soon established to work with governments across the globe.

      • BVQI - Now Bureau Veritas Certification - By 1988, quality imperatives and ISO certification had become key issues for many companies. With the growing need for independent third party systems certification, Bureau Veritas was in a strong position to respond.

      • Veritas Auto - 1990 saw the creation of a major subsidiary to handle the regular inspection of motor vehicles. This activity was ceded a few years later.

    • 1995: In 1995, two new corporate shareholders, CGIP (now Wendel) and Poincaré Investissement injected fresh impetus into Bureau Veritas activities. At the same time, the global economic environment was evolving ever faster.
    • 1996: Bureau Veritas acquired CEP and became the French leader in conformity assessment of building construction. 
    • 1998: Bureau Veritas added a new core competence to its portfolio: Consumer Products Testing, by the acquisition of a well-established US firm with testing labs in Asia (ACTS) followed by MTL in 2001
    • 2007: On October 24, 2007, Bureau Veritas became listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. 
    • 2008: Bureau Veritas became one of the largest providers of mineral testing services worldwide (acquisitions of Amdel in Australia and Cesmec in Chile and Peru)
    • 2010: The acquisition of Inspectorate in 2010 positioned Bureau Veritas among the top three global leaders within the commodities market.
    • Now: Strong organic growth and more than 100 acquisitions in the past 20 years have pushed us into a leadership position on our market and given us a broad and unrivalled expertise in QHSE management issues. 
  • HISTORY OF BUREAU VERITAS CONSUMER PRODUCTS SERVICES

    • 1888: Following the first International Exhibition of Electricity in Paris in 1881, Jules Grévy, the President of France, decides to use the profits to create a Laboratoire Central d’Électricité.  After numerous events, LCE is officially inaugurated on February 10th 1888, Place Saint Charles in Paris. The tests carried out in the laboratory concern all branches of electricity: incandescent electric lamps, batteries, storage cells, automotive floodlights, electric traction systems…
    • 1943: On April 22nd the laboratory becomes LCIE and keeps its three assignments: official body for electrical metrology, study center and control/testing laboratory.
    • 1998: Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services formed following the acquisition of ACTS (HL/Toys Testing) with labs in USA and HK
    • 19997layers was founded with its head office in Ratingen, Germany and further test & service centers in the USA, China, S. Korea and Japan.
    • 2001: Expanded into new markets / added new capabilities with acquisitions of MTL (Softlines Testing – USA/HK) and LCIE (Electrical/Electronics Testing & Certification – France/China)
    • 2003: Developed UK consumer goods testing capability with acquisition of AMTAC and entered Germany with acquisition of ecb-Online (analytical competence)
    • 2005: Expanded Electrical/Electronics Test & Certification footprint with move to North America market with acquisition of Curtis-Straus and Taiwan with the acquisition of ADT 
    • 2007: Moved into Germany Electrical/Electronics with acquisition of Innova and SE Asia Softlines with acquisition of Kotiti in Vietnam
    • 2008: Developed eco-design capabilities with acquisition of CODDE in France; a software and consulting firm
    • 2010: Entered Korea testing market with softlines test lab in partnership with Kotiti
    • 2011: Acquired consumer electronics test lab in south China (NST) and launched wireless conformance capability in Taiwan
    • 2012: Global automotive market strategy launched supported by acquisitions of ECL in Germany and Davis in China offering EMC and reliability testing services
    • 2013: Expanded wireless capability worldwide with acquisitions of 7layers with locations in USA, Germany, China, Korea and Japan
    • 2015: Moved into luxury goods market with Certest acquisition in Italy
    • 2016: Enhanced automotive offering with VEO acquisition in China (homologation). Developed LATAM presence with NCC acquisition (Brazil / Argentina)
    • 2017: Strengthened Electrical/Electronics, Automotive and Wireless leadership with 4 acquisitions: SIEMIC (EMC/RF Testing & Certification - USA, China, Taiwan); ICTK (Smart Payment Security Test & Certification - Korea); IPS Tokai (Auto EMC Testing - Japan) and METRACEM (EMC Testing - France)
    • 2019: Launched 5G Conformance and Regulatory services. Reinforced France leadership with acquisition of Measurement and Engineering Equipment from Nokia Head of Technology Center in Brittany.