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Our History



Origins in shipping

Bureau Veritas was founded towards the beginning of the 19th century as a maritime assurance company. Registered as the Bureau de Renseignements pour les Assurances Maritimes in Antwerp, it had a simple objective:
to make shipping safer by providing up-to-date ship tracking information to underwriters. This involved creating a new methodology to assess risks to ships and equipment.

Strange attractor


A leader in Marine & Offshore

Today, Bureau Veritas is a diversified group, providing industry-leading testing, inspection and certification services across most industries and sectors. Maritime safety remains central to our business: we are one of the world’s leading classification societies and offshore risk and verification bodies.

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Early classification

The first Bureau Veritas ship register was published in Antwerp in 1829, before the company’s move to Paris in 1833. A notable vessel classed by Bureau Veritas in this period is the paddle steamer “Neptune”, built by Augustin Normand.

Cruise ships


Classification society of choice

Today, more than 11,000 ships worldwide sail under Bureau Veritas class. We hold leading positions in segments where innovation is the norm – in tugs, LNG carriers and cruise ships as well as vessels using LNG as fuel. We are classing a series of four megaships for MSC Cruises (2017-2020), and, from 2020, the first LNG-fueled ships in MSC Cruise’s World Class series.

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The first modern oil tanker

Oil transportation technology has evolved with the oil industry: the first oil well in the United States was dug in 1859 and in the following decades, shipyards competed to produce an effective tanker design. Bureau Veritas classed the “Glückauf”, the first dedicated steam-driven ocean-going tanker in the world and the first in which oil could be pumped directly into the vessel’s hull instead of being loaded in barrels or drums.



Expertise in FPSOs

Over the past 130 years, we have accompanied every innovation in tankers. In the 1970s, we classed the first asphalt carrier. We developed advanced tools and strength calculations to accommodate ever-larger tankers, and notations to keep vessels safe and compliant in Arctic waters. Today, we offer leading expertise in supporting the construction of FPSOs, as well as the conversion of VLCCs and smaller tankers to floaters.
Our Veristar AIM3D digital twin model enables us to track the condition of these offshore assets throughout their life.

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The world’s first icebreaker

The turn of the century saw Bureau Veritas classing the world’s first polar icebreaker: the Yermack, built at Newcastle-upon-Tyne for the Imperial Russian Navy. It remained in service until 1964.



Advanced polar expertise

Today, as Arctic sea routes open up, Bureau Veritas offers a range of notations for merchant and passenger ships plying icy waters. These include a dedicated Icebreaker notation used for the 15 LNG carriers that will serve Yamal LNG in Russia’s Arctic; and the world’s first icebreaking cruise ship ordered by Ponant.



Services widened to include materials

Ship and equipment safety begins with the materials used in construction. In 1910, Bureau Veritas set up a service for the control of materials. It went on to publish in 1913 type specifications for the reception of materials not destined for naval construction.



Digital supply chain control

Control of material quality and supply chain assurance is a pillar of risk management for shipowners. Approval of materials is an important classification function. Bureau Veritas offers a range of digital tools to help owners select suppliers. We also perform supplier verification for external ecommerce platforms.

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Pioneer in LNG transportation

Bureau Veritas was involved right at the start of the LNG industry: we classed the first ocean-going ship for transport of liquefied gas, the “Beauvais”. From 1965-1971 we built a solid reputation classing LNG carriers with the “Jules Vernes” and the “Descartes”. We also classed the first membrane LNG carrier, the 120,000m3 “Ben Franklin”.



Innovation in LNG carriers

Today’s LNG mega-projects require new solutions to transport gas from production sites to customers around the world. We are the classification society for Ichthys LNG, at 182,000M3, the vessel’s Moss-type cargo tank capacity is the largest of any LNG carrier worldwide.



The world’s first FSRU

With demand for natural gas growing, Bureau Veritas supported the introduction of floating gas terminals, classing the first floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), the “Excelsior” for Excelerate Energy in 2005. We went on to support LNG production by classing the first ever constructed FLNG delivered to Exmar in 2015, and providing Technical Assistance for the Shell Prelude, the world’s first ever FLNG.



Leading class for FSRUs, #1 for bunkering

Bureau Veritas is playing a key role in global LNG supply chains, thanks to our dedicated rules and expertise gained in flagship projects. These include the MOL FSRU Challenger, the largest FSRU to date at 263,000m3. We also classed the first ever LNG bunkering vessel, the ENGIE Zeebrugge.