Blog: March 2011

EEA Directives

RCD 94/25/EC - 2003/44/EC

When considering imported craft the only Directive relevant to you is the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) 94/25/EC as amended by 2003/44/EC.  Originally drafted in the mid 1990's this was implemented across the EEA (European Ecomonic Area) on the 16th June 1998.  Various revisions have occurred but for you the most significant of these was introduced on the 1st of January 2006.

Though the history is worthy of note, retrospective assessments are not available so we must deal with the requirements today to understand what hurdles exist.

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Electrics - CD/radios in US boats

Well you learn something new every day....

It would appear that 'Car Stereos' fitted to US boats may not function fully in the European market.  This is because FM radios in the US step on the 'odd' frequencies eg 97.5, 97.7, 97.9 etc whereas we in Europe (and NZ) step on 'even', eg 97.6 and between, eg 97.65.  Thus whilst the range of frequencies is similar, a US radio is not a lot of use in Europe as it will only lock onto a 'few' broadcasts...

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EEA territories

  1. Craft falling within the scope of the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) must comply when first placed on the market, or put into service, in any of the following areas.
  2. Craft that have been placed on the market, or used in any of these areas prior to the implementation of the RCD on 16/6/98, are considered outside the scope of the Directive and thus exempt from its requirements both now and in the future.
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Basis for exemption

Exemption principles

The RCD applies to all countries within the European Economic Area or EEA.  The EEA comprises those countries in the ‘official’ EU plus a number of countries have yet to join, e.g. Norway. All craft in use or for sale within the EEA between 2.4m and 24m in length are subject to the requirements of the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD), introduced in 1998 and subject to revisions in subsequent years. The RCD includes a number of exemptions which broadly speaking fall into two categories, those:

1)    linked to the age, design or use of the craft

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Electrics - AC Installation examples

We've now (22/3/10) installed the new 230v / 120v AC transformers in three boats, a Bayliner 245 (07), Bayliner 2855 (02) and a Monterey 262 (99).  The installation was very similar in all with the transformer secured in the Engine compartment forward and to starboard of the engine, adjacent to the holding tank.  The floor in this area is level and typically of glass/ply construction providing a secure base i

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Why emissions are important

Emissions - why bother?

Emissions compliance is probably the most important issue facing importers and if incorrect can prove very expensive, potentially involving the replacement of engines.

Emissions compliance covers both gas (i.e. NOx) and noise and has applied to all recreational craft imported into the EEA/EU, assessed for RCD compliance on or after 1/1/06.  Outboards have been treated slightly differently to inboard engines/systems but as of now, all engines must comply with both gas and noise requirements.

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RCD Explained

CE - what's it all about?

The following is taken from an article jointly prepared with CEproof for the magazine.

Why a CE mark

CE marking is required on recreational craft in order to demonstrate compliance with the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) which became law across the EEA on 16 June 1998.

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First lets clear up something.  The RCD applies to those states which make up the European Economic Area (EEA).  The EEA comprises those states in the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

In theory, implementation and enforcement of the RCD should be uniform across all EEA states but the reality is that enforcement and interpretation varies considerably and is changing.  Therefore you should NEVER assume that just because you've exported a boat to an EEA country before, that it will be the same now.  Check with us first.

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VAT and import taxes


VAT (Value Added Tax) is a sales tax. Though applied across the EEA it may be referred to by different names (TVA in France for instance).  In principle it is a tax applied to the added value only.  Thus if there is no 'added' value there is no VAT due.  This is normally the case with second hand goods sold within the EU but is of course based on the premise that (EEA) VAT was paid when the goods were first sold.  Clearly this does not hold for second hand imports from outside the EEA.

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Benefits for US Sellers

The US market has been at a virtual standstill for what seems like years, with Manufacturers going under or holding off on production to survive.  Many have been forced to liquidate stock and this rush has left the US market awash with unsold boats.  Some have found a buyer through repo auctions whilst others have been sufficiently different to attract niche buyers.

Today’s news is that the biggest market probably lies outside the US, especially in countries where the local currency is strong relative to the US dollar.

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Import process - step by step guide

If you don't yet have a craft identified please go to our find a boat blog pages.

Ok, so you've identified a craft or have even paid a deposit or purchased.  If the latter we hope you've got your proof of title.

Here are some things to think about when building an import project, presented in a fairly chronological order.  We'll deal with each in turn:

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Web Resources - finding US boats for sale

As discussed elsewhere Gablemarine cannot be directly involved in the purchase transaction.  What we can do however is help you find a boat and once you've done so, help you to make sure it is the boat you want to buy.

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ESCROW - protecting your money

Escrow is a legal arrangement whereby a neutral third party, called the escrow agent, holds an asset during the period in which the deal is being finalized by the other two parties.

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Buying advice

Rowland gives his take on people and boats.

‘They’ say that the two best days of boat ownership are the first and last, but as an owner myself I think this is untrue. The trick is to buy the right boat, having thought long and hard about what you want and more importantly why.

Boats are never cheap to operate and maintain and with ever increasing mooring and fuel costs it pays to buy what you need and avoid that larger ‘bargain’ which in truth will probably turn into a money pit.

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UKAS - Supporting Independent CE inspection

UKAS is the UK Standards Authority, the body tasked with ensuring that the certification bodies (Notified Bodies or NoBos) operating in the UK do so in accordance with Europe wide legislation.  They ensure Notified Bodies act independently and this extends to those professionals working on their behalf.  This includes Gablemarine, who are authorized as CE inspectors by HPI Verification Services (Notified Body # 1521).

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