EU websites


General EU websites:

  • Your Europe:
    • Your Europe is a website providing clear and practical answers on a wide range of issues, both for citizens (travel, work, retirement, health, etc.) and for businesses (intellectual property, taxes, contracts, product requirements, etc.)


Maritime affairs websites:


Useful websites for businesses:

  • Access2Markets:
    • The Access2Markets online portal offers companies information on exporting and importing to and from 120 countries, both within and outside the EU. Users must select a specific product and the countries of origin and destination. The portal then displays information on tariffs, taxes, trade barriers, customs procedures, rules of origin, product requirements and relevant rade statistics.
  • Enterprise Europe Network:
    • This is a tool aimed at helping companies (especially SMEs) grow internationally and innovate. The network is available in over 60 countries and is made up of 3000 experts coming from over 600 organisations (such as technology poles, innovation support organisations, universities and research institutes, regional development organisations, and chambers of commerce and industry).
    • Companies can look up which of these organisations are present in their area, and seek support from their experts, who will offer free personalised business services. Companies can receive advice on growing internatioanlly (e.g. funding sources, exporting, EU standards, protecting intellectual property abroad) and advice on innovating (e.g. innovation-related policies, relevant funding programmes, innovation strategy, intellectual property rights, innovation brokerage services). Companies can also search for opportunities for international partnerships with other companies.
    • Enterprise Europe Network is structured in several sector groups, including the Maritime Industry and Services group. Their Maritime Newsletter can be found here.
  • BlueInvest information:
    • BlueInvest, an element of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, aims to boost innovation and investment in sustainable technologies for the blue economy, by supporting readiness and access to finance for early-stage businesses, SMEs and scale-ups.
  • Guide on EU funding for tourism:
    • This online guide highlights a wide range of funding programmes for the tourism sector, financed by the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and Next Generation EU.
    • Companies can consult the website to identify if they are eligible, what actions can receive funding, what funding is available, get familiar with the online documentation, find partners and submit their proposals.

EU law

Key legislation:


Recreational Craft Directive (2013)


Other relevant legislation:


Port Reception Facilities Directive (2019)


Personal Protective Equipment Directive (2016)


Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (2014)

  • Directive 2014/89/EU Establishing a Framework for Maritime Spatial Planning
  • It seeks to enable public authorities to organise human activities in marine areas so as to meet various ecological, economic and social objectives.
  • It requires EU countries to draw up maritime spatial plans by 31 March 2021, which should map existing human activities in their marine waters and identify their most effective future spatial development, taking into account land-sea interactions and environmental, economic, social and safety aspects.
  • The public and stakeholders must be involved in the process.


Invasive Alien Species Regulation (2014)


Biocidal Products Regulation (2012)


Consumer Rights Directive (2011)

  • Directive 2011/83/EU on Consumer Rights
  • It seeks to increase consumer protection by harmonising several key aspects of national legislation on contracts between customers and sellers.
  • It encourages trade between EU countries, particularly for consumers buying online.


Waste Framework Directive (2008)

  • Directive 2008/98/EC on Waste
  • It establishes a legal framework for treating waste in the EU, designed to protect the environment and human health by emphasising the importance of proper waste management, recovery and recycling techniques to reduce pressure on resources and improve their use.
  • It establishes a waste hierarchy.
  • It confirms the polluter-pays principle, and introduces the concept of extended producer responsibility.
    It requires national authorities to establish waste-management plans.


Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008)

  • Directive 2008/56/EC Establishing a Framework for Community Action in the Field of Marine Environmental Policy
  • It establishes a common approach and objectives for the prevention, protection and conservation of the marine environment against damaging human activities.
  • It requires EU countries to develop strategies to achieve ‘good environmental status’ by 2020.
  • It emphasises the need for EU countries to cooperate with their neighbours in marine regions.
  • It recognises the importance of spatial protection measures for the marine environment.


VAT Directive (2006)

  • Directive 2006/112/EC on the Common System for Value Added Tax
  • It updates legislation to clarify the EU’s VAT legislation currently in force.
  • VAT is applied to all transactions carried out in the EU for payment by a taxable person, i.e. any individual or body that supplies goods and services in the course of business. Imports by any person are also subject to VAT.
  • Taxable transactions include supplies of goods or services within the EU, intra-EU acquisitions of goods (goods supplied in and dispatched or transported by a business from one EU country to a business in another) and imports of goods into the EU from outside.


REACH Regulation (2006)


General Product Safety Directive (2001)

  • Directive 2001/95/EC on General Product Safety
  • It requires firms to ensure that items on sale are safe and to take corrective action when that is found not to be the case.
  • It introduces an EU rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products. This enables national authorities to share information promptly on any measures taken to withdraw such products from sale.


Water Directive (2000)

Policy priorities

The recreational boating industry is substantially impacted by EU legislation over the last decades. This has allowed it to grow and become a significant sector of the European economy. To implement its mission of advancing and representing a sustainable boating and nautical tourism industry #MadeInEurope, EBI focuses on a number of overarching policy areas. These are those that significantly impact the recreational boating and nautical tourism industry.

In each EBI interacts with the key stakeholders and policy-makers to adress the key issues affecting the industry.

Image EBIs issues


EBI Calls for the period 2024-2029: A vision for a sustainable boating industry #MadeInEurope1

With the upcoming EU elections poised to define the trajectory for 2024-2029, European Boating Industry (EBI) presents its manifesto, aimed at shaping policy for the boating and nautical tourism sector in Europe in collaboration with policymakers.


Charting a Course for a Sustainable Future

Titled "Navigating Tomorrow: A Vision for a Sustainable Boating Industry #MadeInEurope," EBI's manifesto sets forth a strategic roadmap to enhance the role of the boating industry in fostering economic growth, promoting sustainability and innovation, and bolstering European competitiveness on the global stage.


The Backbone of Europe's Blue Economy

Boating and water sports are not merely recreational activities; they are integral to Europe's economic prosperity, cultural heritage, and societal well-being. With over 32,000 companies and 280,000 employees, the boating industry stands as a cornerstone of the blue economy and tourism sector, providing access to Europe's seas and inland waters for 48 million regular water sports users.


5 Objectives and Concrete Calls to Action to future-proof the boating industry for the 2024-2029 Period:

EBI's manifesto outlines a comprehensive strategy with objectives:

  • Advance environmental sustainability and circularity
  • Renew European industrial competitiveness
  • Facilitate European-based tourism across borders
  • Renew Europe’s inland and coastal infrastructure
  • Reduce administrative burdens

And to translate these objectives into tangible outcomes, EBI has presented a series of concrete calls to action:

1. A comprehensive approach to reducing environmental impact

2. Open up Europe’s internal borders for boaters and skippers

3. Enable the circular economy in the boating industry

4. Future-proofing Europe’s marinas

5. Creating a level VAT playing field in the tourism sector


Engagement and Advocacy

EBI urges candidates to support the manifesto's objectives, ensuring a thriving future for the boating industry and Europe's blue economy.

For further information and to access the full manifesto, click here.


EBI interacts with the key regulatory bodies for the industry at EU level and internationally. This includes:

  • European Union (European Commission, European Parliament, Council of the EU, European Economic and Social Committee, European Committee of the Regions)
  • Regional Seas Conventions (OSPAR/North-East Atlantic, HELCOM/Baltic Sea, Barcelona Convention/Mediterranean)
  • Regulatory bodies for inland navigation in Europe (UN Economic Commission in Europe (UNECE), Working Party on Inland Water Transport, European committee for drawing up standards in the field of inland navigation - CESNI)

EBI also interacts with the key stakeholder organisations for the recreational boating industry, for instance through the European Tourism Manifesto. EBI is one of over 70 European public and private organisations involved in the Coalition, covering the whole tourism value chain and beyond.


EBI Projects

flag EUIn order to defend the interests of the European leisure marine industry as efficiently as possible, EBI takes part in several EU-funded project. In a European project, organisations and stakeholders from different countries come together for several months to collaborate, learn from each other and address policy issue of common concern. 

Participating in European projects offers some undeniable advantages: it helps extend our sector's network, it helps finance our activities, it reinforces our image as a guarantor of our sector's interests, and it allows us to participate in EU policies and to provide our input.

In this section, you will learn about the projects EBI participates in.

Ongoing projects:

  • TEcoNaut (2024-2027)
  • TWINNEDbyStars (2023-2026)
  • Next BlueGeneration (2023-2025)

Past projects:

  • EnviroNaut (2022-2024)
  • Blue Generation (2018-2023)
  • PHAROS4MPAs (2017-2019)
  • TCC-SCV (2014-2016)
  • Boat DIGEST (2013-2015)

TEcoNaut (2024-2027)

logo transparent white teconautKey objective: Promoting sustainability in the European boating industry through targeted vocational training and collaboration between industry, academia, and vocational education.

The European boating industry, comprising 32,000 companies and employing over 280,000 people, is a vital contributor to the European economy, boasting over 6.5 million boats in its waters. Most of the fleet is constructed using approximately 72,000 tons of non-recyclable materials. Besides the urgent need for implementing recycling solutions for this vast amount of non-recyclable material, there is a necessity for the utilization and adoption of new, sustainable fibers and resins for boat building.

This necessary transition has highlighted a significant demand in the nautical industry for a deep-tech talent pool specializing in sustainable materials. These individuals require the essential skills and knowledge about composites that will drive the new green wave of the sector, encompassing the sourcing, use, application, and disposal of sustainable materials. The TEcoNaut project aims to achieve this main objective through:

  • Developing a DeepTech materials course for Vocational Education and Training (VET), focusing on the utilization and application of Deep Tech Materials, alongside a Train the Trainers Program.
  • Conducting a thorough identification of skills gaps, connected to the European Skills/Competences, qualifications, and Occupations (ESCO) framework, and utilizing the new EU Green Taxonomy.
  • Fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among students and future workers in the "eco" nautical sector, encouraging them to envision future business opportunities in the use of sustainable materials and the circularity of boat building materials while enhancing their resilience skills.
  • Designing a Traineeship program for Higher Education (HE) students, employing "Hands-on" approaches to apply the acquired "Deeptech" skills within companies.

The development of the highly necessary Deep Tech Green wave in boat building can only be achieved through collaboration among Higher Education institutions researching deep-tech materials, companies embracing sustainable practices in boat construction, and VET centers providing qualified personnel.

TWINNEDbySTARS (2023-2026)NBG logo 02

Key objective: Strengthening maritime tourism in Outermost Regions through strategic partnerships, capacity building, and innovative tourism product development. 

TWINNEDbySTARS aims at increasing the competitiveness of the maritime tourism sector in the Outermost Regions (ORs) while contributing to protecting marine biodiversity, preserving cultural heritage, and developing marine astrotourism, recalling ancient navigators as a sustainable destination for these remote territories, by strengthening partnerships already in operation, capacity building, and co-creation for tourism products.

The viability of the project hinges on the execution of tangible activities involving both public and private entities that collectively represent the quadruple helix of the concerned regions. The envisaged collaboration is well-founded, drawing on the established working relationships among many of the participating entities from prior projects. The anticipated timeline for this initiative spans 36 months. In the initial phase, encompassing the first half of the project duration, activities such as analysis, mapping, stakeholder engagement, co-creation, and training definition will be implemented. Subsequently, during the second half, the focus will shift towards training execution, implementation of the marketing and commercialization plan, and testing of the developed product.

Project website:

Next BlueGeneration (2023-2025)

Key objective: Revitalising Blue Economy through a “train-the-trainer” approach.NBG logo 02

The blue economy is rapidly evolving, transitioning towards digitalisation and environmental sustainability. With this shift, there's a surge in career opportunities across various sub-sectors. By 2030, employment in ocean-based industries is expected to double. However, there's a critical challenge: the current workforce is aging, and industries are struggling to attract and retain young talent. The 2021 Seafarer Workforce Report warns of a significant shortage by 2026 without increased training opportunities.

Many young people perceive the blue economy as unattractive, often associating it solely with fishing and shipbuilding. To counteract this misconception, starting at the school level is crucial. Educating youth on ocean literacy and introducing them to diverse blue career opportunities can reshape perceptions. Teachers and educators play a pivotal role in achieving a balance between supply and demand in the qualified workforce for the Blue Economy while reducing youth unemployment rates.

The goal of this project is to improve the age balance of the blue economy workforce and reduce youth unemployment by equipping secondary, vocational, and tertiary education instructors with the necessary tools and data. To achieve this goal, several objectives have been outlined:

  • Build an up-to-date dataset on career and training pathways in 5 sectors of the Blue Economy (Nautical Tourism, Maritime Transport, Marine Biotechnology, Aquaculture, Marine Conservation).
  • Provide career guidance to youth in these sectors through the creation of a gamification tool for skills self-assessment.
  • Support students and teachers in finding individual career pathways in the Blue Economy by developing a data-based interactive tool.
  • "Train the trainers" by offering background knowledge on Blue Careers through an open, online course (MOOC).
  • Conduct webinars and seminars to train 200 teachers and educators.

Meet the partners here.

Project website:

EnviroNaut (2022-2024)

Key objective: Creating the first-ever curriculum for the position of “Environmental Officer in Nautical Tourism” and delivEnviroNaut_Logo.jpger it in form of a modular online course.

The main project objective is to create a first-ever curriculum for the position of “Environmental Officer in Nautical Tourism” and deliver it in form of a modular online course as a continuous VET training that does not currently exist in the sector.

The project will create new environmental competences for workers in this industry, bridging the gap between the training and skills needed in the boating industry and enabling the whole sector to become more environmentally friendly, follow the European Green Deal and the UN-SDG14 and creating a new set of future-oriented skills for the workers and their companies. This will help in increasing the attractiveness of the whole sector, enabling growth in the nautical tourism sector, with the related economic improvement and job creation.

The project will create a new curriculum that will be delivered in form of a modular online course, available in English, Spainsh, German and Greek. The course will be free for everyone and will serve as continuous training for employees in the nautical tourism sector and can also be used by water sport users and the general public to raise their awareness in good environmental practices in the recreational boating and water sports industry.

Project website:

Blue Generation (2018-2023)

Key objective: Promoting youth employment in maritime sectors

image BlueGenerationProjectThe Blue Generation project (2018-2023) aims at encouraging young people, especially those not in education, employment or training, to pursue a sustainable career in the blue economy. The project operates in Spain, Poland, Greece, Portugal and Bulgaria, and is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

While the demand for workers in the blue economy is increasing, young people are not being attracted to maritime careers despite the large proportion of youth unemployment in Europe. Therefore, bringing young workers into the blue economy is an opportunity to increase employment and close the skills gap. It can also help enhance ocean literacy and ensure the development of a dynamic and sustainable blue economy.

The project provides a career portal advertising jobs, internships and training in the blue economy (sectors include coastal tourism, aquaculture, ocean energy, marine biotechnology, shipbuilding, maritime transport and fisheries). The carrer portal can be found here. The project also offers a set of free learning modules about jobs in the blue economy (here), as well as a blue careers guide (here), both of which EBI helped to develop. In addition, the project organises informative events and engages with high schools, adult education centres, NGOs, unmemployment services or local associations to promote blue career opportunities.

Project website:

PHAROS4MPAs (2017-2019)


Key objective: Ensuring the sustainable management of Marine Protected Areas

The PHAROS4MPAs project aimed to enhance the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean Sea through awareness raising, capacity building and networking, in order to preserve biodiversity and natural ecosystems.

In collaboration with a range of partners (including institutions, NGOs, industry actors and scientific bodies), among which was EBI, the project analysed the impact on MPAs of seven maritime sectors, namely offshore windfarms, maritime traffic and ports, cruises, leisure boating, recreational fisheries, aquaculture, and small-scale fisheries.

It then issued a report for each of those sectors, with recommendations to guide future sustainable interaction between the seven sectors and MPAs. EBI provided input on the impact of leisure boating and helped draft the recommendations.The reports can be found here. In addition, the recommendations were formatted into a user-friendly online tool that helps readers find the information that is relevant to them. The online tool can be found here.

Project website:

TCC-SCV (2014-2016)

logo TCC SCV

Key objective: Enhancing the comparability of skipper qualifications and encouraging their recognition across the EU

Currently, professional skipper qualifications are not mutually accepted between member states. This means that skippers with a Spanish qualification can only work on vessels with a Spanish flag, those with a German qualification can only work on vessles with a German flag, etc. This has a direct impact on the free movement of labour within the Single Market, hindering the mobility of professional skippers and limiting businesses' access to labour.

The TCC-SCV project (TRECVET Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels) tried to find a solution to this problem. The project analysed professional skipper qualifications from seven EU member states, broke them down into their component parts, and developed an online comparison tool, in order to allow for easy comparability between them. This enabled skippers to understand what additional training competences would be required when working in a vessel with a different member state flag. The tool showed that 80-90% of the content in the analysed qualifications was identical. The project then proposed a Core Curriculum together with National-Specific Modules. This system would allow skippers to personalise their training needs in an optimal way, completing the core curriculum and then taking the specific modules depening on which Member State they want to work in.

The project was led by a consortium of ten partners selected for their expertise, among which was EBI.

Project website:

Boat DIGEST (2013-2015)

Boat Digest logoKey objective: Improving boat dismantling standards among dismantlers and raising awareness about dismantling among boat users

There is an increasingly large number of recreational boats that come to their end of life and must be dismantled in a responsible manner. The Boat DIGEST project (which stands for Boat Dismantling Insight by Generating Environmental and Safety Training) tried to enhance the dismantling of end-of-life recreational boats, by improving the health, safety and environmental standards of dismantling practices andby raising awareness among boat users.

Firstly, the project produced a free online training module for dismantling companies and workers, consisting of four units, in order to increase the health, safety and environmental competences of dismantlers. Individuals who successfully complete it obtain a certificate granted by the University of Strathclyde. Secondly, the project also created an online awareness module for end-of-life boat owners, with guidance on good disposal practices. Furthermore, it produced an online map displaying boat dismantling companies, in order to help end-of-life boat owners locate professional waste management sites in Europe that deal with end-of-life boats. Finally, four sets of guidelines were produced, targeting various audiences (boaters and nautical associations, marinas and leisure harbours, repair and refit companies, and boating schools), with information on the actions that these four groups can take and the role they play in raising boat owners’ awareness about the issue. The learning tools, the network map and the guidelines are all available on the Boat DIGEST website.

Project website: