Our calendar displays the events and meetings organised by European Boating Industry and those in which we participate, as well as most of the boat shows organised in Europe.

If you feel we should publish an event you are organising, please send us an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a short description of your event. Thank you.

Events calendar

  • August
  • October
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday


Our main areas of work include:


The European boating industry is a highly internationalised sector that exports the majority of its products, both inside and outside the EU internal market. Traditionally, the boating industry has exported within the EU and to North America but it has also been increasingly trying to export to emerging markets in Asia, South America, Middle East and Russia. This is a challenging task, however, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for the majority of companies in the boating sector. European Boating Industry is working with both European companies and the European institutions to try to ease access to these emerging markets, but giving the current political climate in countries like Russia or difficulties with identifying the provisions in China, the progress here is slower than expected.

The reults of the US presidential elections in January 2017 have put on hold the free-trade negotiations with the USA called the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) which started in 2013 and of which European Boating Industry has been very supportive ofTogether with its US counterpart the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). At the time of the talks, European Boating Industry submitted with NMMA to the EU and US authorities a joint working paper in which we outlined the objectives we wish to achieve under the negotiations. Both organisations believe that TTIP could be for the boating industry a significant milestone for improving and simplifying trade conditions between the US and Europe for thousands of small and medium-sized companies in the boating industry.

European Boating Industry welocmed the trade deal with Canada (CETA) obtained last year and the recently concluded talks with Japan, although we did not demand to be included as a specific sector during the talks.

Training & Professional qualifications

Training and qualifications in the boating industry are quite fragmented across Europe. Although many national marine industry associations across the EU have developed their own national training activities, skills and qualifications are not harmonised and often not recognised in other Member States. European Boating Industry believes that the development of a European curricula for professions within the boating industry (such as boatbuilding jobs, surveyors, brokers, sailing instructors and engine maintenance) would raise the level of professionalism within the industry, attract more young people, and improve the mobility of workers through the better recognition of skills and training. For more information about training courses available in your country, please contact your national association.

Links to our members’ websites can be found on Our members page.



SOLVIT is an EU instrument used to solve cross-border disputes, typically regarding professional qualifications acquired in a Member State and which may not be automatically accepted in another Member State. Today, the EU regulates about 700 professions (mainly in the health sector) and the default rule is that EU nationals can freely practise professions that are not regulated, like skipper or diving instructor for instance. The reality and the testimonies made by professionals through years show a much more complex situation and the reluctance in certain cases of EU Member States to accept professional qualifications others than their own. Professionals facing such situations should seek assistance via the SOLVIT desk where individual cases can be submitted.

More about SOLVIT on their page.

Market surveillance in the EU

Market surveillance is conducted by national authorities and guarantees safety, environmental protection and fair competition across Europe. As of 18 January 2016, the new EU directive on watercraft 2013/53/EU applies which further strengthens the market surveillance. A dedicated page was created to provide full information on these important changes.

Take a look at our EU RCD Guide available in various languages.

Consumer Rights Directive

Recently, an evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive was made, aimed to assess whether it has achieved its objectives and whether the anticipated impacts as described in the original impact assessment accompanying the proposal for the Directive have materialised. The evaluations confirm that in general consumer law remains fit for purpose. When applied effectively, the existing rules tackle the problems that European consumers are facing today, also in online markets. However findings also point to the need to improve awareness, enforcement of the rules and redress opportunities to make the best of the existing legislation.

Read the 'Results of the Fitness Check of consumer and marketing law and of the evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive'.

Let's remind here that the EU Directive 2011/83/EU on consumer rights entered into force in June 2014. The Directive prevents Member States from adopting less or more stringent provisions than those laid down in the Directive (with some exceptions). It applies to any contract concluded between a trader and a consumer, sets out formal requirements for distance contracts, information on the rights of withdrawal by the consumer, and the obligations of the trader and the consumer. The main provisions are: the right to withdrawal with a 14-day cooling off period; pre-contractual information; rules on delivery; and rules on repairs, replacement and guarantees. The objective was to introduce greater consistency in the consumer law across Europe and a number of countries will now have to adapt their national legislation in accordance with the directive.


Our main areas of work include:

Professional skippers' qualificationsLogo TCC-SCV final-small

Despite a single internal market and greatly simplified administrative procedures for EU citizens to live and study anywhere in Europe, certain professional qualifications are still not accepted by various Member States and this is why an EU-funded project called TCC-SCV (TRECVET Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels) was initiated.

TCC-SCV kicked-off in Palma de Mallorca in November 2014 and finished in August 2016 with its main outputs presented at the "Skippers Working Without Borders" conference on 16 June 2016 in Brussels.

The project has been looking at the problem of restricted working mobility with regard to professional skippers on small vessels within the European Union (who unlike merchant seafarers don’t enjoy worldwide mobility). The initiative has gathered 10 partners from 9 countries, namely Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and UK.

TCC-SCV expanded its comparison software (back then 3 sets of qualifications), developed in 2011 with TRECVET project, to 7 national qualifications now from Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Slovenia, Spain and UK. The comparison software (providing transparency and simplicity when comparing similar qualifications from different countries) will also contain information about the commonalities and differences of all 7 qualifications. This information will be used to inform and assist the maritime administrations in Czech Republic and Romania, where work is in progress to develop the relevant legal framework for the profession. The detailed analysis of both theoretical and practical fundamental elements of each national qualification carried out by the TCC-SCV project will provide the information needed by maritime administrations to understand other national qualifications.


Main project outcomes

Two main outcomes of the TCC-SCV initiative are: the Online Comparison Tool and the Common Core Curriculum. The Online Comparison Tool showed that today 80 to 90% of the 7 analysed qualifications are identical. It means that differences are far less than commonalities and that generally speaking the various qualifications are already very similar. This tool brings the much needed transparency and details about the content of each qualification, making it easy to understand what additional training or competences would be required when working for another Member State’s flag.
The Common Core Curriculum was designed based on the current common base. Based on the identified differences among Member States, the additional knowledge and competences would be proposed as modules. This way, each skipper can personalise his training needs according to the common core and the necessary additional modules requested by individual Member States. Therefore, the additional compensation measures would be limited to the truly different competences required by the destination Member States.

For more about the project, take a look at the TCC-SCV project website.

Even though the project has officially ended now, the research and work are being carried out to extend the project findings to other EU Member States to get an even better picture at the problem in the entire EU and find the right solutions.

Boater’s qualifications

Boat licensing is regulated at the national level with 25 out of 30 European countries requiring some form of boat license to navigate in their waters. However, the requirements for each country vary greatly with regard to the area of navigation, the distance from shore or a shelter, the means of propulsion (sailing or motor boats), the boat’s length and the engine’s power. Today, 18 European countries (15 of which are EU Member States) apply the UNECE Resolution 40 introducing the International Certificate of Competence (ICC). The ICC applies to operators of recreational craft bound for or on the inland and coastal waters of foreign countries and specifically includes bareboat charter vessels. The certificate acts as a form of documentary assurance from one country to another that the holder meets the level of competence laid down in Resolution 40. It is, however, only valid in those countries where Resolution 40 has been adopted and the ICC is recognised and remains the only international evidence of competence that exists for recreational boaters in Europe. Today, the varied national rules and limited uptake of Resolution 40 and the ICC can be confusing for boaters but also professionals. It can also limit boating tourism in Europe.

EU smart borders

Following the proposal of a “Smart Border” Package, proposed by the European Commission in 2013, three years later (6 April 2016), it adopted a revised legislative proposal for “Smart Borders”. This revised legislative proposal includes: a Regulation for the establishment of an Entry/Exit System and a proposed amendment to the Schengen Borders Code to integrate the technical changes needed for the Entry/Exit System. The changes aim to address the ever-increasing number of third-country nationals entering the Schengen area, as the existing systems and tools at the national level cannot meet the objectives of the smart borders initiative. This is of interest to the boating industry as the measures proposed may have an effect on the leisure navigation and the possible new obligations for boaters.

Learn more about the Commission’s proposals.


Since the addition of tourism to the European Union’s competences in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission has been working to develop a tourism policy, which enhances Europe’s broad and competitive tourism industry. On 20 February 2014, the European Commission adopted the strategy on coastal and marine tourism, where it also recognised the issues signalled by European Boating Industry.

European Boating Industry has been submitting its policy contributions with regards to nautical toursim, given the importance of boating and water based leisure activities (such as water sports) to the wider tourism economy.

Nautical tourism in Europe

Europe boasts close to 70,000 km coastline and 27,000 km of navigable inland waterways. It is a leading destination for boating and water sports enthusiasts from across the world. There are over 4,500 marinas in Europe, which offer 1.75 million berths for a total boat park of 6.3 million vessels. Today, 70% of boat charter takes place in Europe, with a significant part being held in the Mediterranean Sea. These activities represent an important income for coastal and insular economies with boating, water sports and marinas accounting for 180,000 jobs and generating approximately 17 billion euros in revenue per year across Europe.

In 2017 the European Commission published a study on the nautical tourism, 'Assessment of the impact of business development improvements around nautical tourism'. The study aims to assess the impact of business development actions around nautical tourism. It provides an elaboration of specific problems that have been identified, also with European Boating Industry's help, by the Commission across six thematic areas: skippers’ qualifications; on-board boat safety equipment, including satellite applications; boat recycling; marina and boating development; regional development around marinas; market development for combined nautical and coastal tourism products.

Advertising boating through tourism in Europe

European Boating Industry is proud to announce that nautical tourism is part of Visit Europe, a platform promoting Europe as destination. On Visit Europe readers will learn more about various boating and watersport activities they can experience on the old continent, whether they choose the Mediterranean, Baltic Sea or the Atlantic Coast. European Boating Industry will be regularly providing content to the nautical pages of Visit Europe, both for their online and printed communication. We invite you to submit your texts and pictures for future inclusion.

To give you some inspiration, take a look at our first article, Sail the Seas.

Tourism for Jobs & Growth Manifesto

European Boating Industry has joined forces with other private and public tourism stakeholders and signed the Tourism for Growth and Jobs Manifesto. Europe is the world’s number one tourist destination with a market share of 51% in 2014. The tourism industry generates (directly and indirectly) 9.7% of total EU-28 GDP, a figure which is forecasted to rise to 10.4% of GDP by 2025. Today, the Mediterranean Sea alone attracts 70% of the world charter activity (in all length segment) and is the number one destination for nautical tourism. Boating and water sports are practised in all European seas and oceans, as well as on rivers and lakes in the continental countries.

The signatories of the Manifesto, believe our aims can be achieved by establishing an integrated approach to the travel and tourism sector. The Manifesto sets out the European policy priorities that need to be further improved in the area of tourism, such as competitiveness, skills and qualifications, reducing seasonality, digitalisation and sustainability.

Find out more about the Tourism Manifesto.

European Commission takes course on coastal and maritime tourism

In line with action 14 of the European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism (COM 2014 86), the European Commission has published a 'Guide on EU funding for the tourism sector' up to 2020, focusing on coastal and maritime tourism related projects . This initiative aims at providing operators with information on projects which have been awarded EU funding in order to inspire them on possible ways to apply for financial assistance for the development of sustainable and innovative tourism projects in coastal areas.

Backgroud note

On 20 February 2014, the European Commission adopted its long-awaited EU strategy on coastal and marine tourism. The European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism recognises the sector's potential for sustainable growth and job creation, the strategy outlined 14 actions to help coastal regions and businesses tackle the challenges they face and strengthen the sector's position as a key driver of Europe's blue economy. Since the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty, tourism which was before an exclusive competence of Member States and required unanimity for any decision, moved to the domain of shared EU and national competence, subject to a qualified majority for actions. The European Commission is for the first time competent to propose concrete actions and encourage Member States and regional/local authorities as well as stakeholders like the industry to engage in a number of them.

Of particular interest to the boating industry, the following actions are proposed in the Communication:

  • Assess the need for EU action on qualification requirements for professional yacht skippers and recreational boating.
  • Assess the need for EU action on provisions for nautical tourism safety equipment
  • Promote strategies on waste prevention, management and marine litter to support sustainable coastal and maritime tourism.
  • Develop guidelines on minimising impacts on biodiversity and enhancing benefits of recreation and tourism in protected areas.
  • Promote the use of shore-side electricity and provision of port facilities.
  • For industry and other stakeholders, actively participate in projects that reduce waste, emissions, marine litter, natural resource use and in water and waste recovery / recycling.
  • Encourage the diversification and integration of coastal and inland at tractors, including through transnational thematic itineraries like cultural, religious or ancient trade routes.
  • Contract a study on how to improve island connectivity and design innovative tourism strategies for (remote) islands.
  • Contract a study to identify innovative practices for marina development.
  • For Member States and industry, develop innovative practices for regenerating and re-using existing maritime infrastructure.
  • For industry, develop a specific network of maritime tourism stakeholders including tour operators
  • Develop an online guide with an overview of the main funding opportunities available for the sector (particularly SMEs).
  • For Member States and regions, develop and implement national / regional strategies on coastal and maritime tourism and projects to be included in the Operational Programmes.
  • For Member States and regions, seek cross-border cooperation on the above strategies and exchange of best practice.


A wide variety of EU environmental legislation applies to the boating industry and its users. From industrial emissions to the protection of biodiversity, recycling, waste disposal, restrictions on chemicals used in the building process and water quality, all environmental legislation needs to be assessed to determine the appropriate measures to be taken during the manufacturing process, navigation and eventual disposal of the boat at its end-of-life.

Recreational boating is sometimes considered a major source of pollution to the marine environment due to its high visibility on lakes and along the coast. This is far from the case, however, as boating actually accounts for less than 1% of overall pollution affecting the marine environment (compared to almost 80% originating from land-based activities). In fact, boating is dependent on good environmental quality for the enjoyment of participants and many national boating industry associations across Europe have adopted voluntary programmes with practical measures to prevent pollution and protect the environment.

To find out more about the environmental impact of boating, take a look at the European Confederation of Nautical Industries’ 2009 study, ‘Nautical Activities: What impact on the environment?’.


Our main areas of work include:

Boat’s end-of-life

Problem recognised

In November 2016, the European Commission published its study on the Nautical Tourism, with the contributions and support of European Boating Industry, where the Commission listed the "end of use" boats as one of the main challenges for the nautical industry which might pose a threat to the environment and a recycling challenge.

The study confirms that the yachts' average lifespan has been estimated at 30 years, although in some instances this may stretch to 40-45 years. This lifespan has further increased over time due to the use of stronger materials, such as fibre reinforced polymer (FRP), 'reinforced plastic'. It is thought that between 1% and 2% of the 6 million boats kept in Europe, in other words at least 80,000 boats, reach their 'end of use' each year. However, only around 2,000 of those are dismantled.

You can read the full study 'Assessment of the impact of business development improvements around nautical tourism'.


Boat DIGEST dismantling map

On 23 September 2015, European Boating Industry hosted the final Boat DIGEST conference in Brussels, which presented the general overview on the end-of-life boats (ELB) and the main project outcomes. While challenges are still remaining, especially when it comes to financing models of dismantling ELBs, the Boat DIGEST project gave more visibility to the work carried out in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and UK (consortium of 9 partners from these countries). As the inititative's main activities have been to identify boat dismantling locations and practices in those countries in order to understand the common problems, accidents and hazards that can be encountered in Europe.

After studying key issues relevant to recreational craft owners related to ELBs and analysing training needs for dismantlers in the past months, Boat DIGEST has come up with four sets of "Guidelines" targeted to marinas, associations, schools, repair and refit companies. The "Guidelines" (available in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Turkish) target various audiences: boaters and nautical associations, marinas and leisure harbours, repair & refit companies, and boating schools. They also offer information on the actions that can be taken by these four groups and the role they play in raising boat owners’ awareness about the issue. They can be freely distributed to all interested parties, as long as they are not modified in their current format.

Boat DIGEST also developed an online and free of charge training course for the professional staff working at waste management facilities and having to treat boats. The training contains 4 units covering administrative, financial and practical issues. An online test verifies the dismantlers' knowledge and if over 70% of answers are correct, a certificate is issued by University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland), one of the project partners. Another useful outcome is the regularly updated dismantling network map which helps identify and locate professional dismantling sites in Europe.

The above-mentioned and other tools, such as an awareness raising module for users, educational videos or posters are all accessible via

You can see a boat dismantling network map created by the project.

Paris Nautic 2015Mirna speaking on stage

On 8 December 2015, the conference “Boat’s end-of-life, truly the end?” was held at the Nautic – Paris International Boat Show - jointly organised by European Boating Industry, the French federation FIN and Reed Exposition. The event gathered a large audience made of exhibitors, companies, visitors and public authorities eager to learn more about the current approaches to boat dismantling across the world and discuss how to make this activity viable in the long term.

Watch the video spot.

 CO2 emissions from ships

The “MRV – Monitoring, Reporting and Verification” Regulation 2015/757 was published in the EU Official Journal on 1 July 2015 and will become operational in 2018. It was a result, among others, of a strategy for integrating maritime emissions into the EU’s policy for reducing its domestic greenhouse gas emissions that had been set out by the European Commission in 2013. This Regulation was also supposed to accelerate the works of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), taking place at the international level. However, as the latest 71th session of the Marine Environment Protection committee (MEPC71) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London shows, these parallel international discussions have not been very effective so far.

The main points relevant to the boating industry are the scope (encompassing vessels from 5,000 GT up) and the focus on CO2 emissions. European Boating Industry has been involved on the works on this file since certain leisure vessels fall under scope of this new Regulation.

The deal between the EU institutions resulted in maintaining in the legislation the changes that European Boating Industry had proposed and supported. Namely, it means that ship operators will only have to report on the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), with other greenhouse gases such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) not being included in the legislation. The requirements are also limited to the biggest emitters, i.e. all vessels over 5,000 gross tons on voyages to, from and between EU ports. Fishing vessels, warships, naval auxiliaries, wooden ships of a primitive build, ships not propelled by mechanical means and government ships used for non-commercial purposes will be excluded. It means that megayachts of 5,000 GT and more will be included. These are estimated to be around 20-25 vessels worldwide.

Fresh water & marine environment

Adopted in 2000, the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC establishes an integrated, ecosystem-based approach to the protection of water. It applies to all water bodies, including rivers, estuaries, coastal waters, canals and docks. The original target for achieving good status was 2015, but further deadlines are set for 2021 and 2027.

In a similar vein, the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC aims to achieve good environmental status of marine waters in Europe by 2020, whilst also trying to maximize the economic potential of the seas and oceans. The Directive was adopted in 2008 and the areas of interest for the boating industry include marine litter, underwater noise, non-indigenous species introduced by human activities, biodiversity, and human-induced eutrophication.

European Boating Industry is a member of PIANC’s Navigation Task Group on Water Framework Directive & Marine Strategy Directive. The Navigation Task Group is a thematic cluster of 14 organisations representing a wide variety of commercial and recreational, maritime and inland navigation interests.

To find out more, please visit the PIANC website.

Marine protected areas & the Natura 2000 network

Natura 2000 is a network of nature protected areas, which lies at the heart of the Habitats and Birds Directives. Natura 2000 sites are designated to ensure the survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats and currently cover approximately 20% of Europe’s land area and surrounding seas. Whilst human activities are not completely excluded from Natura 2000 sites, activities are limited to ensure the sustainable use of the area and to safeguard biodiversity. Natura 2000 also covers the marine environment. The development of the Natura 2000 network and its marine component is of interest to the boating industry due to the potential impact on water based recreational activities and navigation.

You can have a look at the report on the progress in establishing marine protected areas on the progress in establishing marine protected areas, published by the European Commission in 2015.