BSH test laboratory

Accreditation and accredited tests

The test laboratory of the shipping department at the BSH is accredited according to the European standard DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005. The Akkreditierungsurkunde Prüflabor Schiffsausrüstung (PDF, 1MB, Not barrier-free file.) shows for which tests the BSH is accredited. For this accreditation scope the DAkkS certifies the BSH a high quality and competence.

Beyond the scope of accreditation, the BSH test laboratory performs a number of other tasks.


The BSH test laboratory carries out technical tests in accordance with the European Marine Equipment Directive (MED) for various navigation and communication systems:

  • Evaluation and assessment of external test reports,
  • Tests for a national or an EU approval,
  • Tests for market surveillance,
  • Various individual tests,
  • Involvement in exemptions for equipment of sea-going vessels.

In addition, the test laboratory performs or participates in a variety of other tasks:

  • Consultation/expert opinions and assessments

    This includes: Advice on technical issues of ship safety, equipment of ships or application of regulations/expert opinion on nautical-technical issues/assessment of external laboratories as well as manufacturers/involvement in commissioning, recognition and monitoring of companies or "Recognised Organisations" (ROs)/further tasks arising from the implementation of the Ship Equipment Directive or the implementation of EU Directives.

  • Research and development

    Through application-oriented nautical-technical research and development activities, the BSH and its test laboratory accompany the continuous innovation process of maritime technology. Examples include integrated bridges, autonomous ships and cyber risk management.
    In this way, the BSH helps to ensure that safe, forward-looking technology is stipulated and/or used.
    The accreditation of the test laboratory involves the ongoing development of test procedures for system introduction as well as for approval and monitoring purposes. Findings from practical examinations have an influence on requirements for navigation and communication systems; environmental aspects are also increasingly in focus.

  • Committee work

    Through its participation in various international and national technical standardization committees, the BSH is responsible for technical aspects of ship safety, with a focus on navigation and communication equipment.
    This includes: harmonisation, interpretation and application of national and international rules for the equipment of ships/development of new requirements/consulting politicians, administrations and shipping companies on national and international ship safety rules as well as on the identification of trends and the assessment of developments.

The BSH test laboratory works on the basis of international and national provisions; its tasks are essentially specified in the "See-Aufgabengesetz" (§1 and §5) (maritime responsibilities act) and the "Schiffssicherheitsverordnung" (ship safety ordinance).

Laboratory testing for approval

Before manufacturers put marine equipment on the market that requires approval, they must apply for a test according to the relevant standards as well as an EU approval or a national approval for the first series version. The test laboratory of the BSH tests marine equipment (namely: The BSH tests life-saving appliances, navigation and radio equipment and equipment according to COLREG 72), which falls under the Marine Equipment Directive, according to international and national standards for their suitability for ship operation and their safe function on board. The test is carried out for sea-going vessels and in individual cases also for inland waterway vessels. The test is carried out upon application of the manufacturer or his authorised representative resident in the Community and, if successful, is concluded with a national approval by the BSH or an EU approval by a notified body.

Testing according to IEC 62288 (display presentation) see Leaflet Display Standards (PDF, 93KB, Not barrier-free file.)

IEC 60945 test as part of marine equipment testing
As part of the testing and approval of marine equipment in accordance with the Marine Equipment Directive, testing in accordance with IEC 60945 is prescribed in addition to nautical and technical testing in accordance with the relevant standards.
IEC 60945 contains environmental (heat, cold, vibration) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) tests which must be carried out by an accredited laboratory outside the BSH. The following tests can be performed at the BSH, as the BSH is accredited for these tests: design, operation and functionality of the software used, determination of the compass safe distance (IEC 60945 Rev. 4, No. 4.5.3, 11.2) and sound measurements (No. 4.5.2, 11.1).

Navigation equipment for inland waterway vessels (radar, ECDIS, ...) is approved by the FVT (Fachstelle für Verkehrstechniken - German federal agency for transport technology).

Application for examination/approval

Please use this form for an application for a test and inspection report, certificate of conformity or national approval and also refer to the instructions for electronic forms. You can fill in this form online, print it out and save it locally or print it out blank and fill it in manually.

Application for a test and test report, statement of conformity or an approval of navigational and radiocommunication equipment

Guide (for filling out) – Electronic Forms (PDF, 119KB, Not barrier-free file.)

Here you will find information on the fees for a test/an approval. The device list (only available in German) shows you which devices are assigned to which device category. The device category A to F mean fees in different amounts.