What is CE Marking?
If you are importing recreational craft, or building them for sale, they will need to be CE marked as proof of compliance with the Recreational Craft Directive. All boats built for sports and leisure purposes, with a hull length of between 2.5 and 24 metres, are covered by the Directive, and by law they must be CE marked before they are placed into European waters.
CE marking is a complex and demanding process that should not be under-estimated. It requires skill, technical knowledge and a great deal of preparation.
The person responsible for CE marking a vessel is required to produce exactly the same amount of supporting documentation whether they are the original builder or an importer. Even a simple sports boat requires a massive amount of evidence to be gathered and documented.
How can Boat Certification Help?
If you are building boats, or are thinking of importing a boat for your own use from overseas, we can help with advice and guidance, making sure that you satisfy all the legal requirements. Existing commercial enterprises will find that we offer a professional service which encompasses many aspects of certification under one roof - getting the job done with no loss of valuable time.
Our comprehensive CE marking service involves everything from testing the systems to preparing complicated calculations relating to stability and structure. We have many years of experience in dealing with the Recreational Craft Directive, making us extremely efficient and competitive. We are able to handle the CE marking of any type of vessel, allowing you freedom to concentrate on your own plans - whether they are business or pleasure!
What CE Marking Entails . . .
This is one of the most common questions asked of us and can be summed up as follows:
- The Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) requires us to show how have complied with all the essential safety requirements (ESR's) that it lays down. Each of these have international standards supporting the safety requirement. For example, we are required to make the vessel structurally strong enough to operate in the conditions we say are possible. ISO 12215 is an international standard describing how this is to be achieved. So, to prove that we have complied with this we produce documentary evidence and calculations showing that our vessel achieves the requirements of this standard. We do this in the same way for each ESR using the applicable ISO standards. All this is put together to produce our Technical Construction File which is all our evidence of compliance put together.
- The boat must be supplied with an Owner's Manual which contains all the required information mentioned in the Directive and the supporting international standards. We author this, usually as the last part of the process.
- A Declaration of Conformity (DoC) must be produced and signed by the responsible person, and forms part of the boat's documentation. This is often required for inspection by the policing authorities, harbour authorities, insurance companies, brokers and surveyors.
- The vessel must have a Builder's Plate clearly displayed, showing the CE mark and other important information. This includes the number of persons to be carried, additional weight allowed, maximum allowable power and design category.
- The vessel must carry a Hull Identification Number (HIN) showing the country code, builder's or other responsible person's code, and information about the year of build and model year. It also includes a serial number identifying that boat.
- For some boats, we must then submit all of this to a Notified Body for their approval.
Advantages of Using Boat Certification
We are probably the most experienced RCD consultants in the UK and Europe. Where vessels do not comply we find solutions even re-designing as necessary.
The volume of work that we undertake has allowed us to negotiate huge discounts with Notified Bodies. We act for several notified bodies where we are not undertaking signing of the declaration of Conformity thus removing the need for another inspector and the associated costs. Often, the cost of our complete service, including notified fees, is less than the notified body would charge an individual just to check there work.
Noise and Sound Testing
The recent amendment to the RCD came into full force in January this year. The requirement to sound test many boats has proved very difficult to comply. Boat Certification have purchased the 'Sonic Boom' to undertake sound testing. The service we offer can be used out with of our consultancy services or in support of it. The sound testing service includes undertaking of the sound measurement tests, generation of the required paperwork and submission to a notified body at preferential rates. We are available to deliver all the certification required to deal with this difficult part of the RCD. Further information about the 'Sonic Boom' will be placed on this site as it becomes available.
CE Marking of imported American Sports Boats (ASBs)
American boats have always been cheaper in the US than Europe but with the current low dollar, there have never been more boats crossing the Atlantic. For the most part, the imports are used sports boats.
If they have not been in service in the EU before, ASBs must be CE marked before being sold or put into service - whatever the age of the boat. If a dealer tells you otherwise, ask him to refer you to a document that can verify this. He won't be able to!
Boat Certification has developed a unique compliance service for ASBs on the experience won from the large range of ASBs that we have already CE marked for clients. Our familiarity with the fittings and arrangements of these types of boat allows us to offer a lower fee than would normally be the case.
How it Works
As we will be producing the Declaration of Conformity for you to sign at the end of the process, it is necessary for our staff to inspect every boat. Who knows what modifications may have been made during the boat's history?
The level of work required depends upon the systems on board which, in turn, are mostly related to the boat length. Thus the price structure is scaled against length.
If you require CE marking of more than one example of a model, clearly the workload is reduced. Thus subsequent boats (of the same model) are offered a price reduction, whether or not they are offered for inspection at the same time.
Over the last year we have reduced prices substantially. This has been possible due to the increased knowledge and data we have gained. However, every boat that we inspect and CE mark is fully inspected, tested and provided with full documentation and notified body certification. We often find differences in build even across similar models of similar years. These can affect structure, systems and stability. It is therefore not possible to certify boats cheaply on the basis of previous data alone, you are advised to be wary of anyone telling you that they can.
|Boat Length (ft)||Boat Length (metres)||CEproofing Guide Price|
|8' 2" up to 23'||2.5 up to 7.0m||£1250+VAT|
|Over 23' up to 29'6"||Over 7.0m up to 9.0m||£1750+VAT|
We are agents for this award winning software which is available to boat builders to allow them to carry out their own RCD work. The software can be backed up by consultancy services provided by Boat Certification. This is the software that we use on a daily basis, no one is better able to provide the necessary support to persons using it.