In order to be able to assess ships' quality and safety independently of outside interests, in 1867 Hanseatic shipowners and underwriters initiated the foundation of a classification society. Germanischer Lloyd was established in the form of a co-operative society. In 1899 the society was transformed into a joint-stock company having the character of a non-profit organization. Now as before, the 800 not freely transferable registered shares are owned by members of the shipping community (shipowners, shipyards, bankers and subcontractors). Subject to the company statutes, the shares may be transferred at par and with the Executive Board's approval only.
Germanischer Lloyd has since developed from a classification society for ships into an engineering and inspection company operating worldwide. The object of the company is surveillance of safety and quality in the maritime sector.
Germanischer Lloyd is one of the leading classification societies worldwide. As an independent and impartial society GL supervises quality and safety mainly for ships and for maritime installations.
Highly qualified engineers are operative worldwide at over 450 locations in more than 110 countries with major markets in Europe, the Americas and Asia.