Do I need CE?

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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.

Does your (intended) craft need a CE plate?

This largely depends on the age, location and history of the craft. The starting point is to recognise that the RCD applies to all recreational craft (with few exceptions) between 2.5m and 24m at the first point of sale or use of a craft in the European Economic Area (EEA) – whichever comes first.

So, in brief, craft:

  • built within the EEA after 16/6/98 must be CE marked.
  • imported from outside the EEA (eg USA) which have not been in EEA waters prior to 16/6/98 must be CE marked.
  • put into service within the EEA before 16/6/98 are exempt from the RCD and unlikely to carry a CE plate.

Any recreational craft must either be exempt or compliant. If not exempt a craft should come with RCD related documents, including Owners Manual (OM), Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and CE Plate.  For craft assessed as a Post Construction Assessment (PCA) you should also expect to find a new craft identification number (CIN, formally HIN) and a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) issued by a Notified Body. 

These should be available to the buyer / broker at the point of sale and the CE Plate should be visible next to the helm position.

Written By: Rowland Smith

Rowland Smith is a Naval Architect and founder of Gablemarine.  His industry experience includes Lloyds Register, British Shipbuilders Hydrodynamics Ltd, Cammell Lairds, BP Shipping Ltd & Conoco.  He has a degree in Naval Architecture, a Diploma in Marketing (CIM) and an MBA (Cranfield School of Management).  He has also held Director level positions in a number of technology and engineering companies, including CEproof, which provides RCD compliance software to builders. 

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