A Brief Overview Of The Recreational Craft Directive

Published: 07th February 2011
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The Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) is a European Union (EU) governing agency that publishes and enforces quality control measures for recreational water vehicles of all shapes, types and sizes. The standards they set out are called the Essential Safety Requirement (ESR) guidelines. Boats that do not meet RCDís benchmarks are prohibited from operation in EU as well as European Economic Area (EEA) waters. The sale or purchase of a craft that is not properly certified is likewise disallowed in EU and EEA controlled territories.

ESR guidelines test the boats in a number of ways. The construction as well as structural capacity is thoroughly evaluated. The fuel, electrical and mechanical systems are all inspected to ensure their quality. Even the shipís power output and handling response will be examined. In addition, the presence of appropriate and complete documentation is crucial to passing the inspection.

Vessels that meet the ESR yardstick are certified with a CE mark. CE symbols are the EEAís internationally recognized seal of quality and dependability. The craft will be approved to operate for one of four capacities: offshore, ocean, sheltered water and coastal operations.

You can apply for Recreational Craft Directive certification by approaching one of your local duly appointed Notified Bodies. They will require you to surrender your vessel for complete evaluation as well as the submission of various necessary documents. Whether or not your application is approved depends on you and your boat fulfilling all the requirements.

Some firms who specialize in the import/export of ships and boats offer custom RCD exemption certificates. These are third party documents that declare your vessel to be exempted from particular ESR requirements. For example, purchasing RCD exempted import trawler yachts for specialized purposes that wonít require ESR levels of quality is entirely possible with the help of the right consulting company.

It is important to note that these Recreational Craft Directive exemptions are neither legally binding nor admissible in court. While coastal authorities doing cursory inspections are usually satisfied by the certificateís supporting documents, they still retain every legal right to dismiss them and cite the vessel for ESR violations.

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