In December, EBI and experts nominated by EBI members participated in videoconferences with the experts of the RCD consortium. These videoconferences were on the topics of exhaust emissions, evaporative emissions, and design categories. In each one of them, EBI was able to present its position, which all EBI members had contributed to and had agreed in 2019/2020. Key points on the practical perspective, as well as the future developments of the industry, were brought across and followed up with written input to the consortium.
A new development is that measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from recreational boats will also be included in the review and may feature in a future revision of the RCD. The European Commission confirmed to EBI that the European Green Deal is behind this decision, which has the target of making the EU carbon-neutral EU by 2050, with an intermediate reduction target of 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels (as proposed by the Commission). EBI will closely engage with the consortium to provide input and suggestions on how greenhouse gas emission measures could be implemented, and will emphasise the proactive role of the recreational boating industry.
Based on these points, the EBI Executive Committee and experts are currently preparing detailed papers with regulatory suggestions for the future development of the RCD.
As part of the review, a consultation with a deadline of 14 March was launched by the European Commission. EBI will respond to the consultation and encourages its members to do the same.
The review of the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) will be based on a report carried out by a consortium of companies: Panteia (The Netherlands), TNO (The Netherlands) and Emisia (Greece). The study has a 10-month timeline. Following the study, the Commission will prepare a report that sets out the conclusions of the study, as well as potentially other areas to address. At the same time, the Commission will decide whether the current RCD is suitable or whether legislative changes should be proposed. The deadline for this is January 2022 and would then be followed by the legislative process in the European Parliament and Council of the EU (representing Member States).
The Brexit transition period will come to an end on 31 December. After this date, EU legislation will cease to apply in the UK. Although the new EU-UK relationship will depend on the agreement reached (if any), stakeholders in the boating industry will be affected in any case and should therefore be ready. Northern Ireland will remain within a special situation, staying in the EU Single Market. A notice for boating industry stakeholders on the legal changes resulting from Brexit is provided by the European Commission on this document.
Legal framework for recreational craft
The EU Recreational Craft Directive 2013/53, which sets out requirements for craft, was transferred into UK law as the Recreational Craft Regulations 2017, which mirrors the EU Directive while making necessary wording changes (e.g. removing references to EU bodies and replacing them with UK ones). The full text of the UK’s Recreational Craft Regulations 2017 can be found here, while a guiding document to help businesses that intend to place craft in the UK market (except Northern Ireland) can be found here.
Standardisation and conformity
EU harmonised standards for recreational craft (and for other products), which must be followed by businesses to conform with EU law, will remain unchanged in the UK after 31 December, although they will be now called “designated standards”. Designated standards for recreational craft are published here by the UK Government.
Under the UK’s new conformity assessment framework, notified bodies that are based in the UK will become “approved bodies” without the need to seek re-accreditation, and will be able to assess products for the UK market (notwithstanding Northern Ireland). The list of UK approved bodies can be found here. EU-based notified bodies have to apply for the same status and according to RSG two EU-based notified bodies have applied for the status of “approved bodies”.
In addition, the general rule will be that CE certificates will remain valid in the UK until the end of 2021. From 1 January 2022, CE-marked goods will have to obtain a UKCA (UK Conformity Assessment) marking to be placed in the UK market (notwithstanding Northern Ireland, where either the CE marking or the new UKNI marking will be valid). Please check here for detailed information and the specific application.
Manufacturers Identity Code
After 31 December, boat builders will have to register their Manufacturers Identity Code (MIC) on the UK register in order to place vessels on the British market if using the UKCA mark. It is advisable to do so in any case. The UK’s MIC register is managed by British Marine, on behalf of the Department of Business, Innovation and Industrial Strategy. To register a new MIC with British Marine, or to find out the manufacturer associated with a specific MIC, follow this link.
At the same time, vessels with a UK-based MIC can no longer be placed on the EU market, and hence affected manufacturers must obtain a new code from an EU Member State authority.
Tariffs and trade
After 31 December, there will be border requirements placed on the movement of goods between the EU and UK, and businesses importing or exporting goods will have to file customs declarations. In addition, business may need to provide security and safety data.
On top of that, if no trade agreement is reached between the EU and the UK, the UK Global Tariff will replace the EU Common External Tariff for goods entering the UK from the EU. The UK Global Tariff rates can be checked here. Likewise, tariffs will apply to goods moving from the UK into the EU.
There will be no changes regarding the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and EU Member States. For UK businesses trading with Northern Ireland, the necessary information can be found here.
On this page from the European Commission you can find information on getting ready for the end of the transition period, including a comprehensive Commission communication on changes after 31 December, as well as various sectoral guidance notes (on areas such as not only recreational craft, but also chemicals, consumer protection, competition, industrial products, inland waterways, maritime transport or VAT, among others). In addition, this checklist for businesses produced by the Commission also explains how to get ready for the end of the transition period. The UK Government provides information about the end of the transition on this page. Specifically, you can find guidance for EU businesses trading with the UK after 31 December on here.
The review of the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) has started with the European Commission selecting a consortium of companies tasked with carrying out a study. These are Panteia (the Netherlands), TNO (the Netherlands) and Emisia (Greece). The study has a 10-month timeline and will concentrate on the following major issues as required by the RCD (Article 52): 1) Exhaust emissions, 2) Evaporative emissions and 3) Design categories.
EBI has already held an introductory meeting with the consortium and will be closely following the process and putting forward its position as set out in the position paper that has been prepared over the past months. Following the study, the Commission will prepare a report that sets out the conclusions of the study, as well as potentially other areas to address. At the same time, the Commission will decide whether the current RCD is suitable or whether legislative changes should be proposed. The deadline for this is January 2022 and would then be followed by the legislative process in the European Parliament and Council of the EU (representing Member States).
The Recreational Craft Directive regulates key aspects of boat building, as well as that of certain components. The latest revision dates from 2013 and has been applicable since January 2016.
The Directive contains review clauses, meaning that the European Commission is obliged to review the Directive and its application with the possibility of proposing legislative changes. This process is due to formally start in early 2020 and will likely end in 2022. It will include reports analysing the Directive and a potential legislative proposal to change the RCD. This would then be subject to the legislative process in the Council and European Parliament. The review will likely focus on the feasibility of exhaust emission reductions, potential requirements for evaporative exhaust emissions, the current design categories and potential need for further subcategories. A third-party study will provide the underlying basis for the review and will be awarded to a contractor towards the end of 2019.
Members have been informed about the review and are asked to provide input to EBI by mid-December. EBI will closely follow the review process and engage with it in order to represent the recreational boating industry. Any questions or input should be brought to the attention of the EBI Office.