Technical & safety

Our main areas of work include:

Recreational craft 

RCD banner EBI edited 2015 lightFrom 18 January 2017, companies - whether they are manufacturers, importers or distributors - are obliged to sell products compliant with the latest update of the EU Directive on watercraft 2013/53/EU which officially applies in all 28 Member States, the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), and Switzerland which applies this Directive voluntarily with some extra requirements. Turkey has likewise based its legislation on the Recreational Craft Directive.

To help companies understand the changes brought by the new EU Directive 2013/53/EU on recreational craft, EBI and its international sister association ICOMIA developed a guide. It provides all information necessary to safely manufacture, import, distribute and sell products on the EU single market, EEA and Switzerland.

The guide is available for download as PDF for all devices (2.99 EUR) in the following languages:

Personal flotation devices & diving equipment

The new EU Regulation 2016/425 (replacing the personal protective equipment Directive 89/686/EEC), covering among others lifejackets and buoyancy aids, entered into force in 2016. The main change for manufacturers of personal flotation devices has been the move of product category from PPE II to PPE III, implying stricter evaluation requirements for the products. On the EU-type examination certificate, a maximum validity of 5 years has been kept. It was stressed however that in case of a positive review, a renewed certificate may continue to be valid for further periods (each of which maximum of 5 years).

Since April 2018, lifejackets have to meet the requirements set out in EU Regulation 2016/425. The harmonised standard provide presumption of conformity as it will continue to be reviewed and updated when necessary. As mentioned, conformity assessment procedures have been made stricter and are described in the Regulation. You can find the full text of the new EU Regulation 2016/425 in all EU languages.

Port reception facilities for waste

The Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues was adopted in 2000 with the aim of protecting the marine environment by reducing the discharge of waste into the seas. It was since replaced by Directive 2019/883 that applies since 27 June 2019. EU countries have to implement it into national legislation by 28 June 2021.

The Directive applies to commercial ports, as well as marinas with specific obligations. Small non-commercial ports that are characterised by rare or low traffic from recreational craft only may however be exempted from certain obligations. This applies if their port reception facilities are integrated in the waste handling system of the relevant municipality.

Passenger ships

On 6 June 2016 the European Commission adopted a number of legislative proposals related to the common rules on safety of ships carrying passengers in EU waters, as the result of its “Fitness Check”. EBI has been following the file closely, as it has implications for companies building, beside their leisure activity, small passenger vessels used for domestic voyages. During the revision process EBI joined forces with the European Community Shipowners Associations (ECSA) to address a series of common issues that have raised concern for both organisations. These proposals were discussed by co-legislators and the Commission will follow up on the recommendations of the “Fitness Check”, such as increasing the level of survivability of passenger ships in damaged condition at international level and developing a set of new, goal-based standards for small passenger ships built from other materials such as fibre-reinforced plastic.

EBI and ECSA support this approach for vessels below 24m and have joined the subgroup responsible for work to be carried out at EU level. Learn more about the passenger ship safety.