Recreational craft sold or taken into use in the EU area, with the exception of self-built craft, must meet the requirements of the Recreational Craft Directive, and to show this, the craft must be CE-marked. This also applies to new or used boats constructed in 1950 or later imported privately from outside the EU.
The inspection of a newly built boat or a used boat is referred to as a Post-Construction Assessment (PCA). This certification assessment can only be carried out by a Notified Body.
The Post-Construction Assessment includes the same areas required for boats in production. Depending on the boat's size, structures and available structural data, the inspection process can be easy to complete. The process can also become very difficult, if it is difficult to gain certainty of the boat's structures and their strength. The buyer of the boat may have to make considerable changes to the boat to get it to meet the requirements of the Recreational Craft Directive.
Exhaust emission requirements
Installed engines must also meet the set exhaust emission requirements. Verifying the exhaust emissions of an individual engine is not financially feasible. This is not an exhaust test like those carried out during vehicle inspections; it is a more extensive "type inspection" of the engine, where the engine is mounted on a test bench and run through cycles and loads according to the standard.
A PCA cannot be performed on boats with inboard engines or stern drive inboard engines without the engine installed. However, boats with outboard engines can be certified without an engine installed.
VTT Expert Services Ltd measures and inspects noise emissions and exhaust emissions as a Notified Body.
Read more about noise and exhaust emission measurements
Old work boat in recreational use – a CE marking is required
The Post-Construction Assessment also applies to boats that have been used as work boats when they are taken into recreational use. This means that an old work boat, whether bought within the EU or imported from outside it, must be subjected to a Post-Construction Assessment.
VTT Expert Services Ltd inspects new work boats, and during these inspections, the work boat can also be granted the CE marking. Then, once the work boat has served its time in work use, it can also be sold for recreational use.
CE certification of a boat built for own use
You do not need to acquire a CE marking for a boat built for your own use, if it is in your own use for at least five years after completion. Building a boat for your own use means that you actually build the boat yourself. You can use professional help in some areas, but commissioning the building of, for example, the hull from someone else is no longer building for your own use.
A boat you built yourself from a semi-manufactured product must be CE-marked, because it is not considered to have been "built for own use" by the Recreational Craft Directive. The manufacturer of the semi-manufactured product must then declare that the product meets the requirements of the directive until that point. The finished boat must be CE-certified.
Read more about our CE marking services for recreational craft.