INFO on RCD/CE
EC Directives: Recreational Craft
The Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) 94/25/EC details the requirements and modules that manufacturers must comply with. All recreational craft and components covered by the Directive must comply with it and bear the CE marking (as from 16 June 1998).
The CE marking signifies that a manufacturer has declared that a product conforms to the requirements of the Directive (and any other Directives that may apply to it), and is safe for use. The CE marking is not a Quality mark.
A notified body is one which has been appointed by an EC Member State to undertake EC Type Examinations or audit quality systems used for design, production and final product inspection and testing, and has been notified to the European Commission. LRQA GmbH is notified for modules Aa, B, G, D and H.
What the Directive covers
The Directive covers all boats (regardless of the means of propulsion) with hull lengths between 2.5 and 24 metres, which are intended for sport and leisure purposes. This includes partly completed boats. The Directive covers craft used for charter or recreational boat training when they are placed on the market or brought into service for recreational purposes.
Ignition-protected equipment for inboard and stern drive engines.
Start-in-gear protection devices for outboard engines.
Steering wheels, steering mechanisms and cable assemblies.
Fuel tanks and fuel hoses.
Prefabricated hatches and portlights.
What the Directive does not cover
Craft intended solely for racing, including rowing racing boats and training rowing boats labelled as such by the manufacturer.
Canoes and kayaks, gondolas, pedaloes and sailing surf-boards.
Powered surf-boards, personal watercraft and other similar powered craft.
Original, and original replicas of, historical craft designed before 1950, built predominantly with the original materials and labelled as such by the manufacturer.
Experimental craft, as long as they are not subsequently placed on the European Community market during a period of five years.
Craft specifically intended to be crewed and to carry passengers for commercial purposes.
Introducing the modules
Module A: self-certification. The manufacturer compiles technical documentation detailing how the product complies with the Directive requirements before drawing up a Declaration of Conformity and CE marking the product.
Module Aa: the same as module A but with supplementary requirements, which must involve a notified body. The manufacturer must carry out tests or calculations or control procedures on the responsibility of a notified body to demonstrate compliance with the essential requirements relating to stability and buoyancy.
Modules B + C involve an EC Type Examination by a notified body to verify that the essential requirements of the Directive have been addressed, and that the manufacturer has taken all necessary measures to ensure that all subsequent products 'conform to type'.
Modules B + D involve an EC Type Examination by a notified body and assessment of the manufacturer's quality system for production and final product inspection and testing by a notified body. This is to ensure that the quality system used adequately provides for ongoing conformity of the product. The notified body also carries out periodic surveillance of the manufacturer's quality system to ensure that its obligations are being fulfilled.
Modules B + F involve an EC Type Examination by a notified body and, either verification by examination and testing of every product that they conform to the 'type' which was type examined, or by statistical verification of homogenous lots that they conform to the 'type'. Either method must be verified by a certificate of conformity from a notified body.
Module G involves a notified body examining the individual product and witnessing appropriate tests to verify that the individual product conforms to the Directive's requirements.
Module H involves assessment of the manufacturer's quality system for design, production, final product inspection and testing and ongoing periodic auditing of the quality system by a notified body.
Manufacturers must use the modules to demonstrate compliance. The product category of the craft or component determines which modules apply. For recreational craft, the Boat Design Category and the hull length also determine which modules apply. The modules are:
A Internal Production Control
Aa Internal Production Control plus Tests
B EC Type Examination
C Conformity to Type
D Production Quality Assurance
F Product Verification
G Unit Verification
H Full Quality Assurance
Depending on the product, the procedure that a manufacturer must use before they can draw up a Declaration of Conformity, will be one of the following modules. A combination of modules may apply as follows:
B + C
B + D
B + F
Which modules apply
Boat Design Category
C or D
Hull lengths less than 12 metres and comply with the relevant harmonised standards for
the essential requirements regarding stability and buoyancy.
A, B or C
Hull lengths less than 12 metres and where the craft in the latter category do not comply with the relevant harmonised standards for stability and buoyancy.
B + C
B + D
B + F
G or H
A, B or C
Hull length between 12 and 24 metres,