How To Get Your Boat CE Certified

Published: 07th February 2011
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The European Union (EU) has turned the CE symbol into an internationally recognized benchmark for a particular product’s quality. Only items with CE certification are permitted to be sold in European Economic Area (EEA) territories. Even if the object in question was not manufactured in a country under the EEA’s banner, it can seek independent CE approval in order for it to be legally sold in European markets. If you are planning to import recreational water vessels into the EU, there are several steps you have to undergo in order to get your craft CE marked.

The first step is to ensure that your boat meets the Recreational Craft Directive’s (RCD) Essential Safety Requirement (ESR) guidelines. This is a comprehensive list of characteristics that will test your craft’s structural strength, safety features, environmental compliance and product reliability. Keep in mind that these are very stringent standards; it is not unheard of for a manufacturer to make design modifications to particular boat models in order to pass the CE yardstick.

All information from the physical evaluation must be collated into a Technical Construction File (TCF). Along with an official Owner’s Manual that details the specifics of the quality standards levied on the craft, the TCF must remain in the boat at all times. It has to be readily accessible in the event of any subsequent inspection.

Boat imports must then accomplish and submit a Declaration of Conformity (DoC). Like the TCF, the DoC is documentation that is often required by the various policing authorities, harbor committees and insurance companies.

The boat must have a Builder’s Plate installed wherein all of the boat’s relevant technical information should be recorded. The HIN or Hull Identification Number, country of origin, builder name, boat model and maximum power output are just a few examples of the data the EU requires from foreign boat imports.

The final step to getting your vessel to pass the boat CE proofing process is the submission of all pertinent documents to a duly recognized Notified Body. They will evaluate the merits of your application and ultimately decide whether you get the CE certification or not.

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