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TÜV Rheinland international

TÜV Rheinland international

TÜV Rheinland Worldwide for Quality and Safety

Active abroad since 1970 / 11,755 employees outside Germany / Own companies on all continents

TÜV Rheinland: Although the name suggests it, the independent testing service provider for quality and safety is active not only throughout Germany today with 8,486 employees but beyond German borders as well. TÜV Rheinland operates at sites on all continents around the globe—in countries ranging from Argentina to Morocco to Vietnam. The gradual internationalization of the operation began in 1970 with the founding of the first subsidiary in Luxembourg; the enterprise has been active on all continents since the founding of its own testing company in Australia in 2006. People from over 110 countries work together at TÜV Rheinland.

Around 11,755 employees work at TÜV Rheinland outside the German home market. That accounts for almost 60 percent of all personnel. They generate almost half of the revenues in the entire Group. The focuses of international business are in the regions of Asia—above all China, Japan and India—, America and Europe outside of Germany.

Driving forces of internationalization

There are three main reasons for the internationalization of TÜV Rheinland:

  1. The internationalization of individual companies (clients), their production and target markets;
  2. The interconnectedness and harmonization of global goods and economic areas;
  3. The development and industrialization in numerous rising countries, such as Brazil, China or India.

In a growing number of economies and societies, the latter results in higher standards of living and therefore safety and environmental standards that are often additionally monitored by governmental authorities or technical testing organizations like TÜV Rheinland.

The international orientation and transnational work of TÜV Rheinland are reflected in the company in many ways. The testing of products, for example: In this area, 80 percent of the business is done outside Germany because the tests logically take place where products are manufactured, especially in Asia. Worldwide, TÜV Rheinland has roughly 780 of what are known as accreditations—an official recognition permitting the performance of tests—from national authorities. The Global Technology Assessment Centers in Bangkok, Budapest, Cologne/Nuremberg, Milan, Shanghai, Silicon Valley and Yokohama are the largest laboratory locations of TÜV Rheinland and feature an extensive program of testing services. For manufacturers, this also means that they can obtain testing from a single source for all of the important markets worldwide from TÜV Rheinland and, with successful tests, meet standards in the U.S. just as, for example, for Japan, India, Europe or South Africa.

Similar factors apply to numerous other economic sectors and industries in which TÜV Rheinland is active. Be it foodstuffs or auto parts, textiles or components for wind turbines, they are all manufactured, traded and purchased worldwide. Independent quality and safety monitoring, by TÜV Rheinland for example, ensure that the required standards are met. If, for example, pipeline tubing is ordered from an Indian or Chinese manufacturer for a project in Europe, TÜV Rheinland’s international expertise allows the company to perform supplier audits at the manufacturer and monitor production qualities.

International orientation of competences and responsibility

TÜV Rheinland itself also endeavors to provide its acquired competencies and available testing services to companies internationally. For example, management systems are certified by specially qualified auditors according to globally accepted ISO standards irrespective of whether the customers are located in Germany or Indonesia. This also holds true for classical testing services: Technical vehicle inspection takes place not only throughout Germany but also in Chile, France, Spain and Latvia. Of the more than 9 million vehicle inspections that TÜV Rheinland performs annually, nearly 7 million are conducted outside Germany.

The employees shoulder great responsibility from the implementation of such testing services for human beings, technology and the environment. This responsibility expresses itself in the mission statement of TÜV Rheinland as well as in the membership in the United Nations Global Compact. TÜV Rheinland joined this alliance for greater sustainability in business back in 2006 and, in addition, confers the International TÜV Rheinland Global Compact Award upon individuals who are especially committed to sustainable business. Key issues of the global alliance of companies and organizations are the fight against child labor and corruption, and for higher environmental and social standards in the economy worldwide.

TÜV Rheinland International

Today TÜV Rheinland has concentrated and organized its international business in various regions outside Germany: Asia-Pacific, Greater China, India/Middle East and Africa (IMEA), Central and Eastern Europe, North America, South America, and Western Europe.

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The Asia-Pacific region

TÜV Rheinland operates with around 1,300 employees in the Asia-Pacific region. They work in nine countries, with Japan having been the first: On October 2, 1978, TÜV Rheinland opened its first office in Tokyo with three employees; the expansion of product testing played a large role in the further development of the company, which has currently around 400 employees. Thus TÜV Rheinland, which is accredited as a testing company by the Japanese government, opened a large product testing laboratory in Yokohama in 2005 in the presence of the German Federal President. Today TÜV Rheinland maintains more than 30 laboratories in the entire Asia-Pacific region. The work of TÜV Rheinland in the region extends from the development of safety concepts for maglev trains in South Korea to battery testing in Japanese laboratories. In state-of-the-art laboratory centers right in the production countries, engineers, technicians and chemists test a large spectrum of consumer goods and technical components that are intended for export to the entire world.

Laboratories are located in Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Other business areas are testing of management systems and processes, the performance of supplier audits, the supervision of energy and infrastructure projects, and the areas of IT service and cybersecurity.

The Central and Eastern Europe region

In Central and Eastern Europe, where the company has been active since 1991, TÜV Rheinland has around 1,200 employees in nine countries. Services offered by TÜV Rheinland include industrial testing, mobility, product testing, the auditing of processes and management systems and training. TÜV Rheinland significantly expanded the business in Hungary in 2005 with the acquisition of the MEEI electrical engineering institute and MBVTI, the Hungarian testing and certification company for technical safety. Further, one of the large laboratory centers of TÜV Rheinland, one of the Global Technology Assessment Centers, is located in Budapest. In 2021, a new high current laboratory was opened in Hungary.

Around 500 employees work for TÜV Rheinland in Poland. In addition to a wide range of testing services, shared service centers are also located there to provide internal services for the Group.

The work of TÜV Rheinland in Latvia is unique: The company is responsible for vehicle inspections there and operates the largest inspection center in the world in Riga. TÜV Rheinland maintains a total of 14 test centers there and conducts more than 800,000 vehicle inspections per year.

The Greater China region

TÜV Rheinland operates with around 4,000 employees at 27 cities in the Greater China region. It established its first branch office in Taiwan in 1986, then expanded to Hong Kong and Mainland China. TÜV Rheinland maintains a total of 130 different test and laboratory centers for products, currently making up the heart of the business.

The region is involved in all important areas of business and life. This starts with the energy sector and the consumer goods industry, and includes the automotive industry, basic materials and investment goods, environmental technology, trade, construction, the food industry, aviation, railway technology, the IT sector, information security and data protection, logistics, banks and financial service providers, agriculture, tourism, as well as the education and healthcare sectors.

TÜV Rheinland operates an ultramodern test center in Shanghai. The subsidiary occupies approximately 30,000 square meters of floor space and includes testing laboratories for numerous product groups. As one of the largest and most modern integrated testing complexes in Asia, it focuses on manufacturers of consumer goods, mechanical engineering, and the solar power industry. Chemical analyses and tests for electrical safety, electromagnetic compatibility, fitness for use, and calibrations can be implemented at the highest technical level. In 2020, TÜV Rheinland’s first Smart Lab in the world opened in Shanghai. The Smart Lab is the first fully automatic, intelligent, and unattended laboratory in the testing, inspection, and certification industry.

Other large TÜV Rheinland sites and laboratory centers are located in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangdong, and Ningbo. TÜV Rheinland also officially opened its Internet of Things (IoT) Excellence Center in Shenzhen and Taiwan in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

The India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA) region

TÜV Rheinland is growing very strongly in this region and now has around 2,100 employees there. Testing and inspection laboratories are located especially in India and Bangladesh. The oldest national subsidiary in the region is South Africa. TÜV Rheinland has been operating there for almost 40 years and currently has over 50 employees. TÜV Rheinland now has its own companies in 12 countries throughout the region. The testing company’s involvement in the Gulf region is presently growing very strongly. TÜV Rheinland has formed its own companies there in Qatar and Oman.

TÜV Rheinland is in the process of becoming one of the most important transnational service providers for testing, monitoring and certification in the region. The range of services ranges from risk-based inspections in the oil and gas industry to services in the rail and automotive industries and the certification of management systems.

India occupies a prominent position in the work of TÜV Rheinland. The testing service provider started there in 1996 and now maintains 21 laboratories. In recent years, the investment focus here lay chiefly on product testing: Along with new textile testing laboratories, laboratories opened for the testing of electrical products and regenerative energy technology. TÜV Rheinland most recently inaugurated a new 14,000 square meter product testing center in Bangalore, India, in autumn 2017.

The North America region

TÜV Rheinland has been active in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. since 1983 with around 600 employees today at 30 sites. The testing service provider has made large investments in the U.S. market in recent years. In the U.S., TÜV Rheinland operates, among other sites, twelve laboratories for product and materials testing. Along with setting up laboratories, TÜV Rheinland has also purposefully acquired companies. TÜV Rheinland Rail Science, one of the leading consulting companies in the rail industry, was absorbed in 2012. In 2014, TÜV Rheinland acquired the U.S. IT security specialists OpenSky Corporation. TÜV Rheinland is significantly expanding the IT services and cybersecurity areas in recent years on an international level.

In California, where the company has already been running a test laboratory in Silicon Valley for many years, TÜV Rheinland is also expanding its laboratory capacity for inspection of radio technologies. Specifically, this involves the testing and certification of wireless standards. As well as pioneering the testing of Wi-Fi technology, TÜV Rheinland was also involved in the development of Bluetooth technology right from the start as one of the leading testing service providers. This is why a second, 1,100-square meter laboratory center was opened in Fremont, California, in 2017. This center uses state-of-the-art technology to reduce test cycles to a fraction of their previous duration and hence reduce costs. This is invaluable in our fast-moving digital world where a cellphone might require as many as 1,000 different tests, for example.

Overall, TÜV Rheinland performs testing and audits in many areas in North America, including the automotive industry, mechanical engineering, product safety, electromagnetic compatibility, functional safety, railway technology, chemical testing methods, pressure equipment and materials technology.

The South America region

Hardly anyone expects that TÜV Rheinland is one of the leading testing companies in Brazil, but this is a fact. TÜV Rheinland has a total workforce of more than 1,500 employees in the South American region. The largest regional subsidiary is Brazil with 650 employees, followed by Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru. Overall, TÜV Rheinland maintains more than 30 sites on the continent, plus 14 vehicle test centers in Chile.

TÜV Rheinland began its work in Brazil in 1997. The work focus there is industrial testing for the oil and gas industry in particular. TÜV Rheinland has been active on the South American continent since 1993. The company opened its first subsidiaries in the South American market in Argentina and Chile. In Chile, TÜV Rheinland is also active in vehicle inspection, for example, and maintains 14 service stations between Santiago and Castro. TÜV Rheinland tests almost 900,000 vehicles per year throughout the country.

The Western Europe region

In Western Europe, the internationalization of the business of TÜV Rheinland started in the 1970s. In nine countries, from Sweden to Portugal and from the United Kingdom to Italy, TÜV Rheinland employs nearly 2,000 people altogether in Western Europe outside of Germany.

The testing services comprise nearly all fields and numerous industries in which the company is also active in Germany. These include industrial testing as well as the testing of management systems, specialized product laboratories or vehicle inspection, with almost one thousand service stations in France and Spain. In the United Kingdom, TÜV Rheinland acquired in 2014 Risktec, an independent and specialist provider of risk management consulting, resourcing, learning and inspection services.

In various countries, TÜV Rheinland operates a total of ten laboratory centers for testing the safety of products and materials, for testing the electromagnetic compatibility of electrical products and wireless technologies and for performing chemical analyses. In 2015, TÜV Rheinland opened a large Global Technology Assessment Center in Milan with 12 individual laboratories for product testing, which in 2021 was expanded with a new chamber for electromagnetic compatibility testing (EMC). In past years, important investment focuses in the region were primarily the expansion of industrial testing and vehicle inspection. TÜV Rheinland expanded automobile inspections in Spain and France. Thus, TÜV Rheinland strengthened its network of test centers for vehicle inspections in Spain by acquiring the company Certio in 2019. In France, TÜV Rheinland owns a majority interest in Secta Autosur. The company is the licensor for over 900 technical vehicle test centers across France. TÜV Rheinland tests a total of almost 5 million motor vehicles per year in both countries.

As of April 2022

Milestones of the international development of TÜV Rheinland

1970 Establishment of the first foreign company in Luxembourg.
1978Establishment of the first subsidiary in Asia (Japan).
1986First activities in China.
1993Start of the work in South America (Argentina and Chile).
1996Establishment of the first subsidiary in India.
1997Establishment of a company in Brazil.
2003TÜV Rheinland has over 3,000 employees outside Germany (already 40%).
  • Opening of the Global Technology Assessment Center in Japanese Yokohama by German Federal President Horst Köhler.
  • Two acquisitions of Hungarian companies in product and industrial testing.
  • Establishment of the company in Australia. TÜV Rheinland is active on all continents.
  • Joined the United Nations Global Compact.
2007Absorption of the Brazilian company Ductor; the approximately 600 employees specialize in supervising industrial and construction projects.
2010Through the absorption of further engineering companies, TÜV Rheinland rises to be the second largest technical service provider in Brazil.
  • Opening of a subsidiary with integrated test center in Shanghai, a large laboratory in Bengaluru (Bangalore), India, and a first product testing laboratory in Turkey.
  • Absorption of Sonnovation, the Dutch testing company in the oil and gas industry.
  • For the first time, more revenue outside Germany than in Germany.
  • Acquisition of a majority interest in the French automobile monitor Secta Autosur with more than 900 test centers.
  • Absorption of the British industrial testing company Risktec Solutions with 230 employees.
  • Acquisition of the U.S. IT security specialist OpenSky with 130 specialists.
2015Opening of a further Global Technology Assessment Center for product testing in Milan.
  • Opening of a second laboratory in Silicon Valley in the U.S. for testing of radio technologies.
  • Opening of a new product testing centre in Bangalore, India
2018Opening of several laboratories for wireless technology testing and the IoT Excellence Center in Shenzhen, China
2019Acquisition of the Spanish company Certio with twelve vehicle testing locations
2020Chinese sites in Shenzhen and Beijing celebrate their 25th anniversary
2021Groundbreaking ceremony for the Yangtze River Delta Operation Hub, a state-of-the-art laboratory site in Taicang near Shanghai