New Recreational Craft Directive Mandatory In Europe From January
Published: Tuesday, 10 January 2017
The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) together with its partner association ICOMIA Marine Engine Committee (IMEC) are advising boat builders and engine manufacturers to check their national trade and distribution channels before interpreting the phrasing within the new Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) relating to engines and components placed on the market that are certified to the old RCD.
On Jan 18, after a year-long transitional period where both old and new Directives have been applicable, the new RCD (2013/53/EU) concerning recreational craft and personal watercraft will become fully applicable meaning marine engines, components and craft certified according to the old RCD (94/25/EC as amended by 2003/44/EC) may no longer be placed on the European market.
After consultation with their members, ICOMIA and IMEC were made aware that boat builders and engine manufacturers were unclear about what the term ‘placed on the market’ exactly meant, and whether watercraft, marine engines and components that were in compliance with the old RCD and ‘placed on the market’ before Jan 18 would comply with the new RCD after that date.
This issue is addressed within Article 55 of the new RCD, which deals with the transitional period, stating that ‘Member States shall not impede the making available on the market or the putting into service of products covered by Directive 94/25/EC which are in conformity with that Directive and which were placed on the market or put into service before 18 January 2017.’
This means watercraft built to be certified and placed on the market under the new RCD may be fitted with:
- Engines and components certified to the old RCD placed on the market before 18 January 2017
- Engines and components certified according to new RCD
- Any combination of the two
The European Commission and Market Surveillance Authorities have confirmed the Article 55 guidance is clear. Nevertheless, ICOMIA is aware that available interpretation may disregard all facets of product import and distribution and that many boat builders are unclear on how to interpret Article 55.
“The key message is not to make any assumptions about what ‘placed on the market’ implies,” explains ICOMIA Technical Consultant Patrick Hemp. “Should a manufacturer have any product still in stock that may be deemed not placed on the market, it is important to engage with the EU Member States likely to be involved in trade and customs and clarify the processes as early as possible before 18 January 2017”.
For more help understanding and complying with the RCD, ICOMIA and European Boating Industry have released a revised version of their invaluable ‘Guide to the new RCD’ which is available as an Apple or Android app or PDF file. The Guide covers, in detailed chapters, full information on the new legal framework, the main changes in the essential safety and environmental requirements, the conformity assessment procedures for certification and CE-marking as well as special cases.