The new Recreational Craft Directive

In this article we inform you in more detail of procedures and important issues related to this transition. The existing directive 94/25/EU, amended by 2003/44/EU, will be replaced by the directive 2013/53/EU on 17-1-2016. However, there is a one-year transition period. This means that boats that comply with 94/25/EU may be put on the market until 17-1-2017.

What’s new in 2013/53/EU? The new directive is significantly extended in the articles. We present an overview of the most relevant changes.
- The scope is extended to partially completed jetski’s, and “watercraft that are subject to major craft conversion”. This means “a conversion which changes the means of propulsion of the watercraft, involves a major engine modification, or alters the watercraft to such an extent that it may not meet the applicable essential safety and environmental requirements laid down in this Directive” Most of the serious refits therefore need to be PCA-certified.

 - The concept “private importer” is introduced. A PCA-certificate on imported craft can only be issued to a private importer, who is also the end-user. 
- Exhaust-emissions may be assessed with 2013/53/EU, or (diesel only) with 97/68/EU stage III A, stage III B or stage IV, or with 595/2009/EU. For petrol engines requirements are harmonised with US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. Until 17-1-2017 the old exhaust requirements are applicable.
- The format of the Declaration of Conformity is now included in the RCD. The DoC shall give more information on the craft, may include a picture, and shall also refer to the exhaust emissions. DoC of the engine(s) is to be attached. Formats will be provided by ECB.

Most important changes in Annex 1:

- Different definitions of the categories. Terms like “ocean”, “offshore”, etc. are skipped; Extreme conditions are excluded from category A
- The builders plate shall also give builder’s address, as well as name and address of the NoBo in case of a PCA.
- The manual shall: “provide all the information necessary for safe use of the product drawing particular attention to set up, maintenance, regular operation, prevention of risks and risk management”. Old requirements such as information on the builders plate etc., are deleted.
- When a craft is fitted with sound signal instruments or day-signals, these shall comply with ColRegs or Cevni.
- A Toilet shall only be connected to a waste tank (and no longer directly overboard)
- All engines shall be CE-marked, and shall comply with stricter exhaust emission values.

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