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Recognition and disclosure as an expert according to § 18 of the Federal Soil Protection Act

The Act on Protection against Harmful Soil Changes and the Remediation of Contaminated Sites (Federal Soil Protection Act - BBodSchG) provides for the involvement of experts in several places. In order to be recognized as an expert in this field, you must have the necessary expertise and technical equipment as well as be suitable for this activity due to your reliability and personal integrity.

Recognized experts are recognized and active in six different subject areas:

1. Area-based and site-specific survey/historical exploration

2. Hazard assessment for the soil-water impact pathway

3. Hazard assessment for the soil-plant impact pathway

4. Hazard assessment for the soil-human impact pathway

5. Refurbishment

6. Hazard identification, assessment and prevention of harmful soil changes due to soil erosion by water

Once the recognition authority has checked all the requirements and your professional suitability/expertise has been determined, recognition and notification will be made by notice and with a certificate of recognition.

The recognition and disclosure authorities responsible for this vary from state to state. Often these are the chambers of industry and commerce, but also the chambers of engineers, chambers of agriculture or state offices can be responsible.

Their recognition and disclosure takes place partly with a time limit, partly indefinitely, depending on the ordinance and federal state.

The contact details of the recognised and notified experts are published in uniform registers.

If you already have a public appointment in accordance with § 36 GewO in the field applied for and have completed suitable further training, you often also provide proof of the necessary expertise for recognition in accordance with § 18 BBodSchG in conjunction with the respective ordinance. This means that there are some experts who, in addition to their public appointment in accordance with § 36 GewO, also have recognition in accordance with § 18 BBodSchG.

In most cases, experts whose expertise, reliability and technical equipment have been checked in another federal state according to comparable requirements are also recognized as experts according to § 18 BBodSchG in the federal states. There is no need to re-check.

Process flow

The examination of experts according to § 18 BBodSchG is regulated differently in all federal states and is carried out in accordance with the ordinance applicable in the respective federal state.

  • First, you submit a written application. The application must indicate the subject area(s) for which the application is to be submitted. With the application, you must submit further documents, which are listed in the application.
  • You will receive a fee notice. The fees are generally due when the application is submitted.
  • In addition, the recognition authorities check the reliability as well as the technical equipment and your liability insurance.
  • Their professional suitability is checked by committees or expert committees for soil protection and contaminated sites. Again, you will have to bear the costs.
  • The review procedure usually consists of the evaluation of your submitted expert opinions as well as a written elaboration and an expert discussion.
  • The result of the review will always be communicated to you in writing. If desired, the decision can be explained in a conversation.
  • Once the recognition authority has checked all the requirements and your professional suitability/expertise has been determined, the recognition and announcement will be made by decision and you will receive a certificate.
  • Their recognition is published in the nationwide register of experts and also published in the publication organ of the recognition authority.


  • They have the requisite, comprehensive expertise
  • They have the necessary technical equipment
  • You are personally reliable
  • You have the necessary liability insurance for the expert work

Which documents are required?

  • Curriculum vitae as well as a complete description of the professional activity and the expert activity to date
  • A passport photo (also digital)
  • Certificate of good conduct "for submission to an authority" in the original according to § 30 para. 5 BZRG (not older than three months)
  • Excerpt from the central trade register "for submission to an authority" in the original in accordance with § 150 para. 5 GewO (only required, in the case of commercial activity)
  • Tax clearance certificate/certificate in tax matters from your responsible tax office in the original
  • Copy of your liability insurance for personal injury, property damage and financial loss
  • Certified copies of certificates (professional qualifications, diplomas, doctoral certificates), copies of professional awards
  • Certificates of attendance at specialist and expert seminars, copies of certificates of employment and service (e.g. certificates from the last/current employer)
  • Five self-prepared expert opinions per subject area, which are suitable for demonstrating expertise in the subject area applied for
  • Expert opinion journal of the last two years
  • Proof of further education in the last two years

Please check with the authority responsible for you whether you need to submit further documents.

What are the fees?

The fees vary and are determined by the individual authorities and chambers themselves according to their costs.

Fees Range: 300 – 2500 EUR

In addition, there are expenses for expert committees and information.

Cost/fee for the review in the expert panel: 1000 – 3000 EUR

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?


Processing duration

The necessary tests are very extensive and can take between six and eighteen months, depending on the area of order.

Applications / forms

  • Form: Application form of the recognising authority
  • Online procedure: not possible
  • Written form requirement: yes
  • Personal appearance required: yes


  • In some federal states, an objection must first be lodged
  • Administrative court action
  • Specific information can be found in the instructions on the right of appeal in the initial decision.

Information on contact persons, chambers and appointment requirements can be found here:
Page of the list of experts

Further information on country-specific responsibilities and special regulations can be found here: Page of the research system Measuring bodies and experts

Technically approved by

Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Professionally released on


Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Linie6PLus)