Recreational Craft and Personal Watercraft Directive

Introduction

Current Version: Recreational Craft and Personal Watercraft Directive (2013/53/EU)

Reference Number: 2013/53/EU

Official Title:
Directive 2013/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on recreational craft and personal watercraft and repealing Directive 94/25/EC. The text of the Recreational Craft and Personal Watercraft Directive (2013/53/EU) can be downloaded here.

Description:
Directive 2013/53/EU was published on 28 December 2013, and it came into force 20 days later. The transition period during which the old Recreational craft Directive 94/25/EC could be used was 18 January 2017.

The Recreational Craft and Personal Water Craft Directive (2013/53/EU) is intended to ensure a high level of safety for users, as well as regulate exhaust and noise emissions of certain types of engine-propelled recreational craft. The Directive aims to harmonise the rules governing the sale of recreational craft within the EU.

What does ‘recreational craft’ and ‘personal water craft’ mean?

For the purposes of this Directive the following definitions apply:

  1. ‘watercraft’ means any recreational craft or personal watercraft;
  2. ‘recreational craft’ means any watercraft of any type, excluding personal watercraft, intended for sports and leisure purposes of hull length from 2,5 m to 24 m, regardless of the means of propulsion;
  3. ‘personal watercraft’ means a watercraft intended for sports and leisure purposes of less than 4 m in hull length which uses a propulsion engine having a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion and designed to be operated by a person or persons sitting, standing or kneeling on, rather than within the confines of, a hull;
  4. ‘propulsion engine’ means any spark or compression ignition, internal combustion engine used directly or indirectly for propulsion purposes.

Which products are covered by the Recreational Craft and Personal Water Craft Directive (2013/53/EU)?

This Directive applies to the following products:

  • recreational craft and partly completed recreational craft;
  • personal watercraft and partly completed personal watercraft;
  • components listed in Annex II when placed on the EU market separately;
  • propulsion engines which are installed or specifically intended for installation on or in watercraft;
  • propulsion engines installed on or in watercraft that are subject to a major engine modification;
  • watercraft that are subject to major craft conversion.

Which products are exempted from Directive 2013/53/EU?

Directive 2013/53/EU shall not apply:

Regarding the design and construction requirements set out in Part A of Annex:

  • watercraft intended solely for racing, including rowing racing boats and training rowing boats, labelled as such by the manufacturer;
  • canoes and kayaks designed to be propelled solely by human power, gondolas and pedalos;
  • surfboards designed solely to be propelled by wind and to be operated by a person or persons standing;
  • surfboards;
  • original historical watercraft and individual replicas thereof designed before 1950, built predominantly with the original materials and labelled as such by the manufacturer;
  • experimental watercraft, provided that they are not placed on the Union market;
  • watercraft built for own use, provided that they are not subsequently placed on the Union market during a period of five years from the putting into service of the watercraft;
  • watercraft specifically intended to be crewed and to carry passengers for commercial purposes, without prejudice to paragraph 3, regardless of the number of passengers;
  • submersibles;
  • air cushion vehicles;
  • hydrofoils;
  • external combustion steam powered watercraft, fuelled by coal, coke, wood, oil or gas;
  • amphibious vehicles, i.e. wheeled or track-laying motor vehicles, which are able to operate both on water and on solid land.

Regarding the exhaust emission requirements set out in Part B of Annex I:

  • propulsion engines installed or specifically intended for installation on the following products:
    • watercraft intended solely for racing and labelled as such by the manufacturer;
    • experimental watercraft, provided that they are not placed on the Union market;
    • watercraft specifically intended to be crewed and to carry passengers for commercial purposes, without prejudice to paragraph 3, regardless of the number of passengers;
    • submersibles;
    • air cushion vehicles;
    • hydrofoils;
    • amphibious vehicles, i.e. wheeled or track-laying motor vehicles, which are able to operate both on water and on solid land;
  • original and individual replicas of historical propulsion engines, which are based on a pre-1950 design, not produced in series and fitted on watercraft referred to in points (v) or (vii) of point (a) of article 2, paragraph 2 of the Directive;
  • propulsion engines built for own use provided that they are not subsequently placed on the EU market during a period of five years from the putting into service of the watercraft.

How to Comply with the Recreational Craft and Water Craft Directive (2013/53/EU)?

The Recreational Craft Directive offers two ways to perform conformity assessment:

1. Internal Production Control or CE marking self-certification: the manufacturer performs the conformity assessment and documents the assessment in his own right. Only permitted for craft in design category D & craft in category C with LH<12m.

2. Involvement of a Notified Body in the other cases.

Other post that may be of interest:

Need help?

Do you have questions or need help with the implementation of the Recreational Craft and Personal Watercraft Directive? Call us or fill out the form below.