CERTIFER Group Enters German-Speaking Market

In January 2020 CERTIFER Group entered the German, Austrian and Swiss market with the acquisition of Angewandte Eisenbahntechnik GmbH (AEbt).

AEbt is headquartered in Nuremberg with offices in Olten, Switzerland (AEbt Schweiz GmbH) and is the main shareholder of ERC GmbH, a Notified Body based in Graz, Austria.

CERTIFER flagsAEbt is an iDeBo (interim Designated Body) in Germany, an Assessment Body (AsBo), an authorised assessment body according to BOStrab for Urban Rail Systems, and a test centre for railway vehicles; it further organises training sessions and seminars. It holds 17020 type A, 17065 and 17025 accreditations for its activities.


CERTIFER is a testing, inspection and certification body, which is accredited according 17020 Type A and 17065. It is headquartered in Valenciennes, France, with subsidiaries and branches in 10 countries (including Belgorail in Brussels). Established in 1997, CERTIFER provides NoBo, DeBo and ISA missions in more than 50 countries, for the infrastructure, control command and rolling stocks sectors, in the railway and guided urban transportation markets.

Jacques Couvert, Chairman of CERTIFER Group, said:

“CERTIFER has achieved strong growth over the recent years and the international development represents around half of the total sales figures of the whole CERTIFER group. However, not being in Germany and, more generally, in German-speaking Europe was a shortcoming for the Group. Due to Germany’s geographic position at the centre of the European transport system, the weight of its rail sector and the high competencies it has, this gap was a real handicap for us. The opening of the German legislation helping, so we decided to set up in Germany and we looked for a partner that will likely join our group. And AEbt met the most important goal of sharing common values of technical competencies and rigour, values to which we are very attached and which, I believe, are the strength of CERTIFER Group.”


With this acquisition CERTIFER is now able to provide an overall support as a DeBo/i-DeBo, NoBo, AsBo, ISA body in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Germany.

Pierre Kadziola, Group CEO of CERTIFER, said:

“We are very excited to welcome AEbt in CERTIFER Group.

“I am convinced that this operation will be a benefit for both sides as we can rely on an easy collaboration made possible by similarities of both groups such as our Accreditation 17020 type A, specialisation in railway. In fact, AEbt is a 'Pure Player' of railway inspection and certification as well as CERTIFER and being the sole player dedicated in railway and urban transportation makes our greatest strength. Now with this operation, we are moving forward in line with our Group’s strategy to be the leader of railway certification and independent expertise by 2023.”


In addition to geographical complementarities, AEbt will also offer CERTIFER Group diversification in the activities towards testing. Up to now, CERTIFER Group was offering inspection, certification and test organisation services (from the acquisition of Belgorail in 2017). With this new scope, combined with a network of experts, additional recognitions and accreditations, CERTIFER Group is in an ideal position to support its customers in all their needs in most countries.

Norbert Schäfer, Founder and CEO of AEbt Group, said:

“More than 17 years ago, we set an audacious company vision – to create an independent inspection and certification company dedicated to railway and urban transportation. Today, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved towards reaching that goal. We have built a trusted Group that supports more than 300 clients.

“CERTIFER is an ideal partner to move forward in our mission of outstanding quality, excellent service, but also enhancing our offering to our customers. With CERTIFER Group’s strategy, resources and investments, we will be able to be build a strong European player working for a safe, reliable and sustainable railway system. With the strong partner CERTIFER, AEbt can now offer its customers an extended range in this group while guaranteeing stable project management in the long term. On the other hand, the CERTIFER Group also offers our employees new development opportunities.”


In the framework of this operation, CERTIFER has appointed Selda Biyikli as CEO of AEbt alongside the founder Norbert Schäfer. She will notably take over Controlling, Management and Group co-ordination while Norbert Schäfer will remain CEO for technical and quality aspects in order to ensure the continuity of the core activities of AEbt.

Selda Biyikli, CEO, AEbt, said:

“The joining of AEbt is a key milestone for CERTIFER Group, which is now made of around 170 people in 14 countries (Algeria, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, China, France, Germany Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam) in addition to our network of 650 experts from the whole railway sectors. At both personal level and on behalf of our group, I am very proud to be part of this achievement. Being in Nuremberg will give us time to learn from each other’s and I am pretty sure that AEbt Group has an important role to play in the development of CERTIFER Group.”



Headquartered in Valenciennes, CERTIFER is a leading global player specialised in railway and urban transportation. Founded in France in 1997, CERTIFER has developed its expertise by providing inspection, certification, test Organisation and testing services in 50 countries all over the world. CERTIFER is a Group of 11 entities worldwide composed of CERTIFER SA (Headquarters in France), CERTIFER ALGÉRIE (Alger), AMERICA LATINA (Sao Paolo), ASIA (Hanoi), ASIA PACIFIC (Hong Kong), AUSTRALIA (Sydney), BELGORAIL (Brussels and Madrid), CHINA (Shanghai), MIDDLE EAST (Dubai), and TÜRKIYE (Ankara).

CERTIFER is accredited in accordance with 17020 Type A and 17065 and holds national recognitions as DeBo in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Algeria and Turkey; AEO in Australia; and ISA in Dubai, Denmark and India. Within the CERTIFER Group, CERTIFER SA, CERTIFER ITALIA AND BELGORAIL are Notified Bodies (NoBo).

CERTIFER logoAbout AEbt

Headquartered in Nuremberg, AEbt was founded by Norbert Schäfer in 2002 and specialises in inspection, certification and testing services for rail and urban transportation. It also has a training academy, AEbt Akademie. With a team of 50 people, AEbt has extensive experience in rolling stock and on-board control, command and signalling. Apart from its headquarters, AEbt owns 100% of AEbt Schweiz GmbH, and 70% of ERC, a Notified Body (NoBo) in Austria, with a subsidiary in Istanbul, ERC Türkei. The main markets of AEbt Group are in the German-speaking countries: Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

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