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As a technical inspection association (abbreviated TÜV , mostly spoken [ tʏf ]) are registered associations that carry out security checks as a technical inspection organization . Often these are security controls that are prescribed by state laws or regulations and are carried out on a private-sector basis as indirect state administration in the form of lending . The best known of these is the general inspection for motor vehicles, which is also known colloquially as "TÜV".

Since the foundation of the first steam boiler revision association - as the original name was - in 1866, members of the TÜV have been commercial enterprises that operate systems that require monitoring .

Tasks and organization

In Germany, the TÜV companies are mainly organized in the three large holdings TÜV Süd , TÜV Rheinland and TÜV Nord . There are also the independent TÜV Thuringia and TÜV Saarland . All of them perform sovereign tasks in the areas of vehicle surveillance, driver licensing and device and product safety. At least 25.1% of all companies that have “TÜV” in their name belong to a Technical Monitoring Association. V, who as a self-help organization of the German economy by the state with the mentioned sovereign functions mortgaged is (TÜV "Convention").

The earlier regional delimitation in Germany (“regional principle”) has been abolished in more and more areas of work as a result of deregulation and liberalization . The companies act independently in these areas as well as in the so-called "free economy" as stock corporations in the market and compete with each other. They are represented worldwide by subsidiaries in many areas of work, for example in the area of product certification and certification of management systems .

In Austria, TÜV Austria, which was founded as a monitoring association in 1872, has developed into the internationally active TÜV Austria Group .

Organizations that imitate the TÜV have also established themselves outside of the German-speaking countries. TÜV India , a subsidiary of TÜV Nord, has existed in India since 1989 . TÜV bodies have also been operated in Turkey since 2007. The operator is TÜVtürk , a subsidiary of TÜV SÜD .

The "TÜV" brand

The "TÜV" brand is a well-known brand that is protected in favor of these testing organizations and the VdTÜV . It is a valuable asset of the TÜV inspection companies.

“TÜV” became known to the general public primarily through the main inspection . The term "TÜV" has become a colloquial synonym for technical tests (you bring your car "to the TÜV", even if it is now often tested by another organization, as the previous monopoly for this test has been dissolved).

"TÜV-tested" is colloquially a seal of quality for technical tests by a TÜV company (see above). The designation "TÜV-tested" may only be used by a technical inspection association or a subsidiary. Anything else would be misleading consumers or unfair competition. This seal of quality is increasingly being misused through counterfeit products .

Because "the TÜV" enjoys a high reputation in Germany and Austria, but also worldwide, in terms of neutrality and expertise and is well known, the term is used in everyday language on many social problem areas and grievances when demands for control and transparency are made : Bureaucracy TÜV , school TÜV , politician TÜV , alcohol TÜV , parents TÜV , building TÜV , event TÜV , ship TÜV , Lasik TÜV , the abbreviation TÜV is also used in contexts of the brand are not very beneficial ("animal keeping TÜV"). The TÜVe do not allow such brand abuse and issue a warning if necessary.


Steam boiler explosion in 1881. Lithograph by the Bavarian Steam Boiler Revision Association

With the increasing number and efficiency of steam engines in the period of industrialization , there were more and more accidents due to exploding (more precisely: cracking ) steam boilers . After the boiler explosion in the Mannheimer Aktienbrauerei in January 1865, the idea was pursued to subject the boiler to regular checks on a voluntary basis, as was the case in Great Britain. 20 boiler owners from Baden joined the plans and finally founded the company for the monitoring and insurance of steam boilers on January 6, 1866 in the premises of the Mannheim Stock Exchange in D 2, 6 . It was the first audit association on mainland Europe. Other German states and regions followed suit.

These independent regional monitoring organizations in the form of associations were so successful in preventing accidents that from 1871 membership in such an association exempted them from being inspected by a state inspector. The regional "Steam Boiler Monitoring and Revision Associations" (DÜV), as self-help organizations for steam boiler operators, were an early example of a very successful privatization of previously state audits. Because they were so successful in preventing accidents in the area of ​​rapidly developing steam boiler technology, they were later also commissioned with safety tests in other technical areas, including periodic vehicle tests and driving license tests .

All TÜV groups that have emerged from these common roots use the “TÜV” brand and a regional addition (for example TÜV Süd, TÜV Rheinland, TÜV Nord, TÜV Saarland, TÜV Thuringia, TÜV Austria) in their names. They are in competition with each other and with other market participants in some areas (see above).


There have been numerous successful mergers in the history of the Technical Inspection Associations. Even more far-reaching considerations regarding a merger of all TÜV groups into "TÜV Germany" or "TÜV Europe" with the aim of eliminating competition among each other are no longer relevant. You would probably fail today because of antitrust law. The merger activities of TÜV Nord and TÜV Süd, which were promoted with high publicity in 2007, also came to nothing. TÜV Süd and TÜV Rheinland also announced in spring 2008 that they would merge, but this failed due to the resistance of the Federal Cartel Office , which has a dominant position in Germany in the field of monitoring elevators, steam and pressure equipment and systems at risk of explosion (e.g. petrol stations). feared. Munich was planned as the headquarters of the new “Super TÜV”. With a total of 25,500 employees, the new company would have been number 3 among the auditing companies after SGS and Bureau Veritas . The merger plans have not been pursued since then.


The Association of TÜV (VdTÜV) is an association in which, in addition to most of the technical inspection associations, a number of large chemical companies that have emerged from the former IG-Farben group and have their own system monitoring (formerly “self-monitoring”) are organized. The tasks of this association include organizing the exchange of experience between the nationwide TÜV experts, advocating the “third party principle” of independent testing by a neutral third party vis-à-vis politics and the public, and protecting the “TÜV” brand.

Since April 28, 2014, Guido Rettig, Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV Nord AG, has been Chairman of the Association of TÜV e. V. (VdTÜV). The association is based in Berlin and the managing director is Klaus Brüggemann.

The TÜV members in the VdTÜV are:

The TÜV Austria associated with the VdTÜV, but not a full member.

Industry members are:

TÜV Cert

The "TÜV Cert" certification association e. V. is a group of TÜV companies with uniform procedures for the certification of management systems , personnel qualifications and products according to international standards and European guidelines. The organ of TÜV Cert is the trade journal “Management und Qualität”. "TÜV Cert" is a protected trademark. In 2008, the TÜV-Cert general meeting decided that from January 1, 2009, new certifications under TÜV Cert may no longer be offered. Current TÜV-Cert certification contracts will, however, continue to be served in accordance with the contract until they expire. Instead of TÜV Cert, certifications are offered under the respective accredited house brands of TÜV Cert members.

Similar organizations

Other organizations that carry out general inspections are Dekra , the Society for Technical Monitoring (GTÜ), FSP Vehicle Safety Inspection and the Motor Vehicle Monitoring Organization for Freelance Motor Vehicle Experts (KÜS). Outside Germany, equivalent tests to the German main test are carried out by a large number of organizations (for example, SGS and Applus are active in this function via subsidiaries in various European countries).

In addition, the tasks of the TÜV overlap with the German Society for the Certification of Management Systems (DQS) .

Web links

Commons : TÜV  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: TÜV  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
  • vdtuev.de - website of the association VdTÜV

Individual evidence

  1. Our Company. About TÜV India. (No longer available online.) TUV INDIA PVT LIMITED, archived from the original on February 1, 2017 ; accessed on February 1, 2017 (English).
  2. German TÜV is now checking all Turkish cars . In: Handelsblatt , January 26, 2007.
  3. Fake TÜV test seals simulate security .
  4. Questionable TÜV seal - The auditor's billion-dollar business . ( Memento from September 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) ZDF in the Frontal 21 series on June 1, 2010 (with video).
  5. Higher top tax rate and bureaucracy TÜV? New details from coalition negotiations . ( Memento from October 30, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) heute.de, October 28, 2005.
  6. ^ "Schul-TÜV" by school psychologists . ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Internal and external evaluation in Hessen.
  7. The school TÜV comes into the classroom .
  8. Fewer drivers have to go to the alcohol inspection . Spiegel online , August 10, 2006.
  9. ^ "Event TÜV" ( Memento from April 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive ).
  10. ^ Staff of the ship TÜV protests against takeover .
  11. Lasik TÜV. Laser operations on the eye are a matter of trust.
  12. Animal Husbandry TÜV Treason of animal welfare threatens April 29, 2007.
  13. Sebastian Parzer: An accident and its consequences - a boiler explosion in a Mannheim brewery led to the foundation of today's TÜV 150 years ago , in: Hierzuland 30 (2015), pp. 19–24, here p. 21.
  14. http://www.swr.de/swr4/bw/region-aktuell/rhein-neckar/vor-150-jahren-in-mannheim-urknall-fuer-den-tuev/-/id=258328/nid=258328 /did=14969662/sweshe/index.html
  15. On the steam boiler revision in the 19th century, cf. Collection of sources on the history of German social policy from 1867 to 1914 , Department I: From the time when the Reich was founded to the Imperial Social Message (1867–1881), Volume 3: Workers' protection, edited by Wolfgang Ayaß , Stuttgart / Jena / New York 1996; Collection of sources on the history of German social policy from 1867 to 1914, Section II: From the Imperial Social Message to the February decrees of Wilhelm II (1881–1890), Volume 3: Workers' protection, edited by Wolfgang Ayaß, Darmstadt 1998; Collection of sources on the history of German social policy from 1867 to 1914, III. Department: Expansion and differentiation of social policy since the beginning of the New Course (1890–1904), Volume 3, worker protection, edited by Wolfgang Ayaß, Darmstadt 2005.
  16. TÜV-Süd campaigns for mergers. The head of the surveillance association suggests consolidation of the four remaining German companies . In: Die Welt , August 22, 2005.
  17. TÜV Rheinland AG joins the TÜV association . April 2011.