Our main areas of work include:
- Training & Professional qualifications
- Market surveillance in the EU
- Consumer Rights Directive
The European boating industry is a highly internationalised sector that exports the majority of its products, both inside and outside the EU internal market. Traditionally, the boating industry has exported within the EU and to North America but it has also been increasingly trying to export to emerging markets in Asia, South America, Middle East and Russia. This is a challenging task, however, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for the majority of companies in the boating sector. European Boating Industry is working with both European companies and the European institutions to try to ease access to these emerging markets, but giving the current political climate in countries like Russia or difficulties with identifying the provisions in China, the progress here is slower than expected.
The reults of the US presidential elections in January 2017 have put on hold the free-trade negotiations with the USA called the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) which started in 2013 and of which European Boating Industry has been very supportive ofTogether with its US counterpart the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). At the time of the talks, European Boating Industry submitted with NMMA to the EU and US authorities a joint working paper in which we outlined the objectives we wish to achieve under the negotiations. Both organisations believe that TTIP could be for the boating industry a significant milestone for improving and simplifying trade conditions between the US and Europe for thousands of small and medium-sized companies in the boating industry.
European Boating Industry welocmed the trade deal with Canada (CETA) obtained last year and the recently concluded talks with Japan, although we did not demand to be included as a specific sector during the talks.
Training and qualifications in the boating industry are quite fragmented across Europe. Although many national marine industry associations across the EU have developed their own national training activities, skills and qualifications are not harmonised and often not recognised in other Member States. European Boating Industry believes that the development of a European curricula for professions within the boating industry (such as boatbuilding jobs, surveyors, brokers, sailing instructors and engine maintenance) would raise the level of professionalism within the industry, attract more young people, and improve the mobility of workers through the better recognition of skills and training. For more information about training courses available in your country, please contact your national association.
Links to our members’ websites can be found on Our members page.
SOLVIT is an EU instrument used to solve cross-border disputes, typically regarding professional qualifications acquired in a Member State and which may not be automatically accepted in another Member State. Today, the EU regulates about 700 professions (mainly in the health sector) and the default rule is that EU nationals can freely practise professions that are not regulated, like skipper or diving instructor for instance. The reality and the testimonies made by professionals through years show a much more complex situation and the reluctance in certain cases of EU Member States to accept professional qualifications others than their own. Professionals facing such situations should seek assistance via the SOLVIT desk where individual cases can be submitted.
Market surveillance is conducted by national authorities and guarantees safety, environmental protection and fair competition across Europe. As of 18 January 2016, the new EU directive on watercraft 2013/53/EU applies which further strengthens the market surveillance. A dedicated page was created to provide full information on these important changes.
Take a look at our EU RCD Guide available in various languages.
Recently, an evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive was made, aimed to assess whether it has achieved its objectives and whether the anticipated impacts as described in the original impact assessment accompanying the proposal for the Directive have materialised. The evaluations confirm that in general consumer law remains fit for purpose. When applied effectively, the existing rules tackle the problems that European consumers are facing today, also in online markets. However findings also point to the need to improve awareness, enforcement of the rules and redress opportunities to make the best of the existing legislation.
Let's remind here that the EU Directive 2011/83/EU on consumer rights entered into force in June 2014. The Directive prevents Member States from adopting less or more stringent provisions than those laid down in the Directive (with some exceptions). It applies to any contract concluded between a trader and a consumer, sets out formal requirements for distance contracts, information on the rights of withdrawal by the consumer, and the obligations of the trader and the consumer. The main provisions are: the right to withdrawal with a 14-day cooling off period; pre-contractual information; rules on delivery; and rules on repairs, replacement and guarantees. The objective was to introduce greater consistency in the consumer law across Europe and a number of countries will now have to adapt their national legislation in accordance with the directive.