What is Recreational Craft Directive?
RCD is a CE marking directive as introduced by European Union which sets out a consistent level of safety in the manufacturing of recreational craft. As you know, safety is the most crucial thing that need to be considered even when you are enjoying somewhere. This directive is meant for you, just to ensure that the boats are tested, and everyone is safe. It covers boat to be used for recreational and sporting purposes with some specifications. It contains both protective and administrative requirements. The protection requirements deal with a variety of quality issues while the administrative requirements with the CE logo, a technical file and a declaration of conformity.
Recreational Craft Directive, European Commission's law, ensure that all manufacturers throughout the European Economic Area satisfies the law. The original law was introduced in 1994 and came into force in 1996 which caters to the CE marking of boats (ce markning av batar). In 2003, amendments were made to also bring jet ski type boat into the directive's scope. A new requirement for engine exhaust emissions and the noise was also introduced in the same year. It lays down some essential requirements based upon a variety of conditions. There are almost thirty headings listed and each including different safety requirements.
The Responsibilities With Regard to RCD
Personal watercraft, recreational craft and their components may only be used in the European Union is they satisfy the essential safety requirements. This includes -
Craft used for leisure or sport purposes with its hull length between 2.5 and 24 meters.
Partly completed crafts
Watercraft used for personal use, and less than 4 meters in length Components manufactured in UK or imported from some other country
As far as the exhaust requirements are concerned, it takes into account the acceptable emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates in diesel engines. The law applies to all engines introduced on the market after 1 January 2005 and it is necessary to have CE marking of boats (ce markning av batar). Now coming to the noise emissions, it takes into account a certain level of sound pressure levels. The law is not applied to products displayed at any trade fair, demonstration, or exhibition.
Following is the list of products which are excluded from the RCD's scope -
Kayaks, canoes, pedaloes, etc
Craft used solely for racing such as training rowing and racing boats Sailing and powered surfboards
Hydrofoils, submersibles and air cushion vehicles Experimental craft and one which is intended to carry passengers or commercial purposes
What are the Penalties?
Anyone who is served a 'suspension notice', 'notice to warn' and 'prohibition notice' but fails to comply with it, is considered to be committing offense. Penalties depend on the nature of the offense and may result up to three months in prison or a fine up to 5.000 or both. If your craft fail to satisfy the stated requirements, they will either be prevented from being sold or totally removed from the market. In this case, the European Commission with be the notified body and you have to send necessary details to them.