Bureau Veritas history

The logo
Bureau Veritas was founded in 1828 "to seek the truth and communicate it without fear or favor." The allegorical figure of Truth, represented by a woman at a source, was chosen as the logo.

Bureau Veritas badge shows a woman sitting on the edge of a well with her arms raised. In her right hand is a torch, in her left a mirror. Her left foot rests on a globe.

On the ground there is a wave, a mercury rod and a rooster with her eyes on the woman. On the horizon is seen a three-masted ship, with full sail, passing through a bay.

The original emblem of 1829 was designed by Achille Deveria and engraved by Jacques-Jean Barre. It showed the Truth female symbol on its way up from a well. The founders explained their reasoning in a letter distributed with each register. Their goal was clear: "to seek the truth and tell it without fear or service." The new logo, which was designed in 1990, follows the same symbolism.

See the animation about our logo


Bureau Veritas was founded in Antwerp, Belgium in 1828, with the task of providing shipping insurers with up-to-date information on premiums at commercial centers and providing accurate information on vessels and equipment.

In 1829 the company was renamed Bureau Veritas, adopted the well-known emblem of truth as its official logo, and published its first register of about 10,000 vessels. The head office moved from Antwerp to Paris in 1833, where a branch was established in 1830.

The company was expanded to new areas such as "material control" for iron and steel inspection in the burgeoning rail sector, as well as inspection and inspection of equipment in and for factories. In 1922, the French government commissioned Bureau Veritas to carry out the official verification of airworthiness certificates for civil aircraft. The automotive industry also entered; Bureau Veritas created a service to control buses and trucks in 1927.

...We are on our way
What have we created since then? A versatile product for a successful future.

The birth of the company in 1828
By the winter of 1821, violent storms had raged across Europe, causing about 2,000 crashes and 20,000 deaths. The situation was disastrous for, among other things, the insurance companies. Most of them went bankrupt, and for those who survived, competition from new entrants in the market was extremely fierce. It was during this critical period that two insurers, Alexandre Delehaye and Louis van den Broek, and an insurance broker, Auguste Morel, established the Bureau de Renseignements pour les Assurances Maritimes (Maritime Insurance Information Office).

Founded in Antwerp (Belgium) in June 1828, the company had a mission: to keep insurers up to date with the various premiums used at various commercial centers and to provide all necessary information to determine the level of trust in vessels and equipment.

But what set the company apart from the competitors was their new approach. In addition to specifying what type of shipping a vessel could carry out, a listing of the risk (3/3, 2/3, 1/3) was given to each vessel. This figure was obtained by examining a ship's design, quality of material, strength of dimension, age, previous accidents, and maintenance of hulls and rigs.

In 1829 the company was renamed Bureau Veritas. The first register was established, containing 10,000 vessels, and the symbol of truth was adopted as the company's mark.

Reaches a wider audience (1830-1980))
In 1830 a branch was opened in Paris. But in 1833 the activity had increased so much that the head office was moved to the French capital.

Under new management, the company went from clarity to clarity, as evidenced by this first testimonial:

“Nothing in France or abroad can be compared to this manual (Bureau Veritas register) in any industry, so absolutely necessary for the insurer and so good for the maritime trade in general. We do not understand how this institution does not benefit from government protection and consideration because we believe that, in addition to its usefulness, it is primarily of public interest. "

- Insurer's journal "Revue des Assurances", 1830

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

... and the name "Bureau Veritas" was written in both the French dictionary Larousse and Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913).

A global expansion
The greatest proof of the vitality of Bureau Veritas was undoubtedly the growing global expansion - first in Europe, then to America and finally to all the major ports on the other continents.

With the expansion of the industrial revolution, Bureau Veritas broadened its range of services. The introduction of iron and steel into the ship's building had made material inspection at the places where it was necessary. In 1910 a new service had been created, "Control of materials". The purpose was to investigate all the materials used in everything from industrial equipment, to diesel engines, locomotives, as well as the factories themselves.

In 1922, the French government commissioned Bureau Veritas to carry out public checks on airworthiness certificates for civil aircraft. The new Aeronautical Service was established on thorough procedures based on regular inspections with reference to special rules.

The work of insurance companies for periodic technical investigations of buses and trucks in France led to the creation of Automobile Service in 1927. Given the growing number of accidents during the boom in the construction industry that followed the First World War, the insurance companies understood that they could no longer cover risks if there were no checks in place. Again Bureau Veritas responded to the market and in 1929 "Control Service for Buildings & Civil Engineering" was established.

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

Growing Business (1980-1990)
Between 1980 and 1990, Bureau Veritas started a number of new subsidiaries in response to specific needs.

Bivac - In 1984, the Government of Nigeria contacted Bureau Veritas to supply pre-shipment inspections of imports. It was a whole new business for the company - one that it would quickly master and take to other countries. A global network was soon set up to work with governments around the world.

BVQI - Now Bureau Veritas Certification
In 1988, quality requirements and ISO certification had become important issues for many companies. With the growing need for independent third-party certification, Bureau Veritas was in a strong position to respond to market needs.

Veritas Auto
In 1990 a subsidiary was created to handle the inspection of motor vehicles. This business was divested a few years later.

Strategic vision and acquisitions 1990-2000
In 1995, two new shareholders, CGIP and Poincaré Investissement, injected new power into Bureau Veritas operations. At the same time, the global economic environment was developing faster and faster. The economic upswing in Asia and the rise of strong economies in Russia and Eastern Europe changed the market. In addition, in Europe and North America, an increased focus on quality, health, safety and environmental issues came hand in hand with the dissemination of new regulations. Developing countries began to adapt their regulations to those in the US and Europe. Standards began to move up the supply chain as developed economies demanded that their suppliers in other parts of the world follow the same standards.

In this challenging environment, Bureau Veritas established a number of priorities based on external growth that helped to strengthen its position in more mature economies.

Larger acquisitions
1996 was an important year with a significant merger in France: Bureau Veritas acquired 100 percent of CEP Capital and became the French leader in building evaluation.

Soon after, the acquisition of two well-established US companies with laboratories in Asia - ACTS (Acts Testing Labs) in 1998, and MTL (Merchandise Testing Laboratories) in 2001 - added a new core competency to the company's portfolio: the position had now been strengthened in consumer product testing. The "Consumer Products Services Division" is now one of the world's leading suppliers of quality assurance for manufacturers and retailers of consumer products.

Stable platform for growth in 2000 and beyond
In recent years, Bureau Veritas has streamlined its organization to enable a better market focus and keep up the momentum for our growth. The group is now structured in 8 global business areas:
- Marine
- Industry
- inspection and periodic inspections;
- Health, Safety and Environment (HSE)
- Construction & Construction
- Certification
- Consumer Product Services
- Government services and international trade

Bureau Veritas has achieved a strong competitive advantage in its 8 global business areas:
- All 8 global business areas are positioned in markets with high potential and significant growth.
- Globally leading positions in each of these business areas.
- The opportunity to utilize an efficient and dense international network.
- An in-depth technical expertise recognized by authorities and accreditation bodies.
- A solid track record of growth through acquisitions.

The flow of acquisitions has been particularly active since 2000, which enables a stable platform for growth for Bureau Veritas.

Show the way
Strong organic growth and more than 50 acquisitions over the past ten years have driven us into leadership in our market and given us a broad and unmatched expertise in QHSE issues.