BSH test laboratory

Accreditation and accredited tests

The international and national regulations are the basis for the test laboratory of the shipping department at the BSH. The tasks are mainly specified in the See-Aufgabengesetz (§1 and §5) (maritime responsibilities act) and the Schiffssicherheitsverordnung (ship safety ordinance).

The laboratory is accredited according to the international standard DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (accreditation certificate - in German only). According to our flexible accreditation, we are able to perform tests which are listed in the list of test methods (in German only).

In case of feedback or complaints, you can reach us by mail at or by phone at 040/3190-7300.

In addition, the relation of specific marine equipment and for approval needed performance and test standards is published in the respective implementing regulations for MED. Currently, this is the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1157 (PDF, 2MB, Not barrier-free file.).

Beyond the scope of the accreditation, the BSH test laboratory carries out further tests of navigation equipment and, if necessary, subsequently issues a national approval.

Since 2004 there has been a mutual recognition (MRA--Mutual Recognition Agreement) between the EU and the USA on the tests and approvals according to the Marine Equipment Directive. In addition to the MRA, the USA also accept tests that have been carried out in accepted laboratories. The USCG maintains a database for this purpose. The BSH test laboratory has been recognized for individual aspects.

Nautical-technical Laboratory testing

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

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

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 a test report to be used for 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.

Further tasks of test laboratory

Testing and approval are only a part of the various tasks. With its equipment, personnel and expertise, the BSH test laboratory performs the following additional tasks of a nautical-technical nature or participates in them:

  • 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

    By the participation in various international and national technical standardization committees, the BSH is highlighting the aspect of reproducibility and feasibility 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.