The existing Recreational Craft Directive 2003/44/EC is about to be replaced with a new version 2013/53/EC. Note that this is a new version, not just a revision.
The new version was released in the last week of 2013 but won't become mandatory until 17/1/2017 at the earliest. Why the delay? The new Directive has to be made law in each of the EC states, before it can be used. The timetable for this is two years, to 17/1/2016. At this point we enter a transitional period lasting a further year, in which time either the new or the previous (current) Directive may be used. Once the transition period ends (17/1/2017) only the new Directive can be applied.
So whilst it is important to be aware of the changes, the impact is some time away.
However, perhaps more significant are the changes to ISO 12217-1, Stability of Motor Craft over 6m. These changes are expected to come into force with six months (ie by July 2014) and will have significant impact, particularly for builders of new craft (ie not subject to PCA).
For more information on the impact of the new Watercraft Directive or the changes to ISO 12217-1 please contact Rowland Smith using the contact details above.