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TÜV Rheinland international

TÜV Rheinland international

TÜV Rheinland Worldwide for Quality and Safety

Active abroad since 1970 / 12.550 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 12.550 employees work at TÜV Rheinland outside the German home market. That accounts for approximately 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 has a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region, with approximately 1,300 employees working across nine countries. Japan was the first country in the region where TÜV Rheinland established its presence, opening an office in Tokyo on October 2, 1978, with just three employees. Since then, the company has expanded significantly in Japan and now has around 420 employees.

A major milestone for TÜV Rheinland in Japan occurred in 2005, when the company relocated to the Global Technology Assessment Center (GTAC) and opened a new, state-of-the-art product testing laboratory, further enhancing its capabilities in the region. This lab was not the first one in Japan but marked a significant expansion for the company.

TÜV Rheinland has established an extensive network of over 33 laboratories in 8 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, spread across 14 locations. These laboratories occupy over 14,000 square meters of lab space and are equipped with more than 9,000 test equipment units. The company's work in the region spans a wide range of industries and applications, from developing safety concepts for maglev trains in South Korea to battery testing in Japanese laboratories, testing automotive components in Thailand, chemical safety in Thailand and Vietnam, as well as, Electromagnetic Compatibility testing for example in Malaysia.

In addition to its impressive facilities, TÜV Rheinland is accredited by various national and international organizations, which attests to the quality and reliability of its services. As a testing company accredited by the Japanese government, TÜV Rheinland is well-regarded for its expertise and is trusted by clients across the region.

Beyond testing laboratories’ product compliance and mobility customers, TÜV Rheinland also operates in other business areas in the Asia-Pacific region, including management systems and process testing, supplier audits, energy and infrastructure project supervision, sustainability services 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 8 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.

Nearly 600 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 18 test centers there and conducts more than 860,000 vehicle inspections per year.

The Greater China region

TÜV Rheinland operates with around 4,000 employees at 38 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 more than 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. In 2022, TÜV Rheinland opened a new Operation Hub in Taicang.

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 2.500 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 11 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. In 2021 TÜV Rheinland established a new material testing laboratory at Chakan, Pune.

The North America region

TÜV Rheinland has been a trusted testing service provider in North America since 1983, with around 550 employees across 11 sites in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Over the years, the company has made significant investments in the U.S. market, and today, TÜV Rheinland operates twelve laboratories for product and materials testing among other sites.

In a move to expand its operations in the U.S., TÜV Rheinland North America is investing in a state-of-the-art product testing and certification facility in the greater Boston region. Set to open at the end of 2023, the TÜV Rheinland Technology and Innovation Center will be a first-of-its-kind in the Northeast US, providing a product safety and quality platform and serving as a technology and innovation center for domestic and global customers.

Moreover, TÜV Rheinland announced the expansion and relocation of its existing laboratory in Bentonville, Arkansas. Initially established to serve retail business from Bentonville Arkansas, the lab expanded into testing medical devices for REACH, RoHS and related regulatory requirements. The Bentonville lab is also an established CPSC Accepted lab for a wide range of children's products testing to ensure that products meet regulatory requirements and are safe for children to use.

In 2023, TÜV Rheinland is celebrating its 30th anniversary in Mexico, by working for safety and to provide value to customers by supporting them in every phase of their industrial or commercial industrial or commercial projects through inspections, tests and certifications.

Also in 2023, TÜV Rheinland North America has received accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 from the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as part of the INSPECTION BODY ACCREDITATION PROGRAM (IBAP) to be an Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) for rail and transit projects in Canada. TÜV Rheinland is only the fourth firm to receive such accreditation. This accreditation allows TÜV Rheinland to be able to perform safety assessments on all types of rail and transit projects in the Canadian territories.

The South America region

TÜV Rheinland is a leading testing company in South America and operates more than 20 sites across the continent, with more than 1,240 employees in the region. In Brazil, the largest subsidiary in South America, the company employs around 660 people, while in Chile and Argentina, has also a significant workforce.

As a trusted provider of testing, inspection, and certification services across various industries in South America, including automotive, energy, and technology, TÜV Rheinland is also active in vehicle inspection in Chile, where it is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023. There, the company maintains 13 service stations across the country and tests more than 820,000 vehicles annually.

Recently, TÜV Rheinland Andino signed a contract with the Regional Transport Secretariat of the Valparaiso Region for a 10-year concession for two new inspection stations. These stations, located in the towns of La Ligua and Villa Alemana, are expected to be operational in 2024, with TÜV Rheinland investing around three million euros.

In addition, TÜV Rheinland Argentina opened a new office in Bahia Blanca, in the south of the province of Buenos Aires. The new workspace aims to consolidate the company's presence in the country, expand its operations, particularly in the petrochemical, and wind energy industries, which play a vital role in the economic development of this region.

The Western Europe region

In Western Europe, the internationalization of the business of TÜV Rheinland started in the 1970s. In eight countries, from Sweden to Portugal and from the United Kingdom to Italy, TÜV Rheinland employs around 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 11 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 2023

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
2022 Acquisition in the UK
D/Gauge Ltd. – TÜV Rheinland acquires British Railway Clearance Company for the further growth in the rail technology sector