BASF is the world's largest producer of chemicals.* Founded in 1865 by Friedrich Englehorn and headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the company mainly sells industrial grade chemicals to the automotive, construction, and pharmaceutical industries. In 1925, BASF led a merger with five other companies (including Bayer and Hoechst) to create I.G. Farbenindustrie AG which manufactured chemicals and weapons for the Nazi war effort during World War II. Its most infamous product was Zyklon B, which was used by the Nazis to kill millions in the gas chambers. After the war, IG Farben was broken up and BASF was reconstituted.


Chemicals, plastics, performance chemicals, catalysts, coatings, crop technology, crude oil and natural gas exploration and production


Top 5 Offense Groups (Groups Defined)Penalty TotalNumber of Records
environment-related offenses$88,497,809143
competition-related offenses$83,122,1673
safety-related offenses$830,28885
employment-related offenses$805,9165
consumer-protection-related offenses$416,0001

(September 29, 2022)

Number of Records
Total Penalties
$173,732,680 (September 29, 2022)
Individual Records & Summaries
Click here for violation data on BASF
Information in this section is drawn from the Violation Tracker database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on business violations of laws and regulations in the United States. For specific examples of misconduct, please click on the links.


Article Archive

The pesticide giants making billions on toxic and bee-harming chemicals

Published by
Crispin Dowler

he world’s five biggest pesticide manufacturers are making more than a third of their income from leading products selling chemicals that pose serious hazards to human health and the environment, a joint investigation by Unearthed and Public Eye has found.

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At least two dead in explosion at German BASF chemical plant

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - At least two people died and six were severely injured on Monday in an explosion and fire at chemicals maker BASF’s biggest production site in Germany, the company said.

Slideshow ( 13 images )

Two people are still missing, BASF said.

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Videos & Podcasts
A Look at Cancer Alley From the Front Lines
Europe contaminated egg scandal: BASF to restrict use of contaminated egg scandal pesticide
Germany: one dead and others hurt or missing after BASF chemical plant explosions
Why This Town Is Dying From Cancer
Other Key Sources
  • Business and Human Rights Resource Centre's profile on BASF - UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is an NGO that employs researchers on five continents who work with activists, companies and governments alike to advance human rights in business by eradicating abuse.
  • Mirador's profile on BASF - Mirador is a project of the France-based NGO Research Group for an Alternative Economic Strategy (GRESEA), which monitors abuse carried out by the largest multinational corporations in France and the world.


Recent & Ongoing Campaigns
BASF workers protest in India

IndustriALL | May 31, 2017

BASF, one of the world’s biggest chemical companies, has adopted a code of conduct binding all employees of the BASF group worldwide. It incorporates globally applicable standards of conduct including human rights, and labour and social standards, which govern BASF’s dealings with employees and other stakeholders.

Fierce union protests over German companies' plans to cut sick pay spread to the chemical sector on Wednesday as 10,000 workers walked off the job at chemical giant BASF AG.

Business Standard | February 9, 2013

Fierce union protests over German companies' plans to cut sick pay spread to the chemical sector on Wednesday as 10,000 workers walked off the job at chemical giant BASF AG.

Major Investigations
& Lawsuits
Bayer, BASF Face Another Lawsuit Over Crop Supply Chain Deals

Claire Hao | Bloomberg Law | May 28, 2021

Bayer AG, Corteva Inc., BASF Corp. and Syngenta Corp. are facing another antitrust lawsuit alleging the large agricultural product manufacturers colluded to prevent electronic sales platforms from disrupting their market dominance and lucrative supply chain.

BASF and Cahill settle talc scandal for US$72.5 million

Georgina Caldwell | Global Cosmetics News | July 27, 2020

BASF and law firm Cahill, Gordon & Reindel have agreed to a joint settlement of US$72.5 million to end claims that they concealed evidence of talc products containing asbestos, according to a report published by Bloomberg.

Missouri farm awarded $265M in dicamba weedkiller suit against BASF and Bayer

Associated Press | Boston Herald | February 16, 2020

A jury over the weekend awarded $265 million in punitive damages to a southeastern Missouri peach farmer who argued that weedkiller dicamba that had drifted onto his orchards from other farms had severely damaged his trees — an award that could bode well for other farmers suing the chemical’s makers.

Environmental Impact
Concerns raised over BASF allegedly releasing contaminated water into Detroit River

Jim Kasuba | News-Herald | July 8, 2022

A congresswoman is raising concerns about BASF Corp. allegedly releasing contaminated water into the Detroit River, potentially affecting Wyandotte residents’ drinking water.

BASF Accused of Dumping PFAS in River

Axel Barret | BioPlastics News | June 14, 2021

There was a discussion between Green MP Mieke Schauvliege and Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) regarding the recent PFAS scandal in Belgium.

BASF to close Germany-based plant after chemical leak

Louise Prance-Miles | Global Cosmetics News | October 15, 2020

German chemicals company BASF is set to close its Ludwigshafen-based imidazole plant after it discovered that a small amount of the material had leaked into nearby River Rhine, according to a report by Reuters.

Two Tons of Antifreeze Chemical Leak into Rhine

Associated Press | November 28, 1986

The BASF chemical factory accidentally leaked two tons of a toxic antifreeze component into the Rhine River Friday, officials said. It was the seventh major chemical spill into the Rhine in a month.

PERI Pollution Indexes

Based on United States Environmental Protection Agency data ranking the top 100 worst polluters.

Employment Practices
& Relations
After a deadly leak at BASF, the workers were blamed despite disputes over safety warnings

David Mitchell | The Advocate | July 18, 2022

Something told Elvin Porter to turn back and take a quick look at his coworker, Dexter Armstead, on a catwalk inside the huge BASF complex in Geismar before Porter headed down the stairs for the breathing equipment.

2 contractors possibly exposed to substance at BASF in Geismar, treated at plant, taken to hospital

Ellyn Couvillion | The Advocate | October 15, 2021

Two contractors were "potentially exposed" to a substance at the BASF plant in Geismar Friday while working outdoors and were treated at the chemical plant by first responders, then transported to the hospital for further treatment, a plant spokesman said.

BASF workers on strike because of dispute over back pay

Joseph Chiruma | Ground Up | August 12, 2016

Workers at BASF’s chemical manufacturing company in Port Elizabeth are striking over non-payment of an annual salary increase. Workers are demanding back pay as per what they claim is an earlier agreement with the company.

BASF Corporation to Pay $500,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Lawsuit Against Cognis

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission | January 31, 2013

BASF Corporation will pay $500,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Cognis Corporation, the EEOC announced today.  BASF acquired Cognis in 2010.


Corporate Headquarters
Bahnsteigstraße, 67063 Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany
Most Recent Gross Revenue
$96.154 billion (2022) | source
Most Recent Net Revenue
$6.065 billion (2022) | source
Stock Exchange Tickers

Note: Most recent list is not always the most complete list.

Croctail Subsidiary Tool using the CorpWatch API - This API extracts the subsidiary relationship information from Exhibit 21 of companies' 10-K filings with the US SEC.

Major Shareholders

Click here for the latest data.


Political Influence

Open Secrets - Tracks corporate lobbying of US politicians.

Open Secrets Logo Profile of BASF

Import & Export Data

ImportYeti - Shipping Tracking Tool - Bill of ladings are public information that are too cost prohibitive, challenging to obtain and difficult to use for the average joe. ImportYeti's goal is to solve that problem.


Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker is a project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on state and federal subsidies in the United States. For more details, click on the links.
Click here for details on subsidies received by BASF
Tax Havens
& Evasion
BASF and corporate tax avoidance: Can we fix it? Yes, we can!

European Greens | 2016

As a report published yesterday by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament discloses, the German chemicals company BASF has used aggressive tax planning strategies to avoid paying 923m Euro between 2010 and 2014.

BASF in firing line for legal, but immoral tax deals

DW | November 7, 2016

German chemicals giant BASF has applied aggressive tax strategies to avoid paying hundreds of millions of euros in taxes, a fresh report has said. The company resorted to a variety of instruments to get its way.

New research shows chemical giant BASF uses toxic tax tricks to avoid €923 million in tax

Catherine Olier | The Greens / EFA | November 7, 2016

Toxic Tax Deals a chemical giant abusing their powers... It might sound like the plot to a trashy old movie, found in the bargain bin on an old VHS.

Major Projects
BASF investing $78M in Louisiana expansion

Plastics News | April 15, 2019

BASF SE will proceed with the second phase of its production expansion for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) at its Geismar chemical complex.

BASF Expands Geismar, Louisiana, Chemical Complex

Baton Rouge Area Chamber | January 31, 2018

BASF will invest in the development of its methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, capacity at its Louisiana chemical complex in Geismar, Louisiana.

BASF Announces $42.6 Million Investment In New Polyurethanes Blending Facility

Ascension EDC | September 12, 2013

Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and BASF Geismar Senior Vice President Tom Yura announced the company’s plans for a fourth major expansion in Louisiana – a new $42.6 million polyurethanes blending facility in Geismar.

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