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Recreational Craft Directive (RCD)

Directive 2013/53/EU on recreational craft and personal watercraft and repealing Directive 94/25/EC

A complete revision of the first RCD (94/25/EC) followed by its amendment (2003/44/EC) was discussed since 2008 with interested parties representing EU Member States authorities, industry stakeholders, consumer associations, standard organisations and representatives of conformity assessment bodies.

The main areas of interest were in exhaust emissions, alignment with the New Legislative Framework, clarification of economic operators including private importers as well as the obligations on Notified Bodies and of the national enforcement authorities.  Addition clarifications were sought for some definitions and essential requirements.

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Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1 of 3 January 2017 on procedures for watercraft identification under Directive 2013/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on recreational craft and personal watercraft

In order to ensure a better implementation of the coding system required for watercraft identification pursuant to Directive 2013/53/EU, it was necessary to lay down minimum rules regarding the procedure for the assignment and administration of the unique code of the manufacturer. This document is for compulsory use under Directive 2013/53/EU



RSG Guidelines 2024

The Recreational Craft Sectoral Group (RSG) has been established to assist in the uniform application and interpretation of the actual version of the Recreational Craft Directive 2013-53-EU (RCD).

The composition of RSG comprises the following parties:

  • Notified Bodies
  • EU Commission
  • Recreational Craft Industry
  • User Organisations
  • European Standardisation Bodies

The objectives of co-operation within the RSG

  • to share experience and exchange views on the application of the conformity assessment procedures with the aim of contributing to a uniform understanding and application of requirements and procedures;
  • to elaborate opinions from a technical point of view on matters of conformity assessment procedures by seeking a consensus;
  • to give advice to the EU Commission following its request on subjects related to the application of the RCD;
  • to consider aspects of ethics related to Notified Body activities and to elaborate, if necessary, statements on that topic;
  • to remain in coherence with standardisation work at European and international level;
  • to remain informed of harmonisation activities at European level.

The RSG Guidelines are prepared to assist Market Surveillance Authorities, Notified Bodies and Industry.

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EU Commission - RCD 2013/53/EU Guidelines

The Guide to Application of the Directive 2013/53/EU is issued by the EU Commission to support the use of the RCD. The EU Commission Guidelines are prepared to assist Market Surveillance Authorities, Notified Bodies and Industry.

This is intended purely as a guidance document – only the text of the Union harmonisation act itself has legal force.

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Guide to the Implementation of Directives based on the New Approach and the Global Approach [Blue Guide 2022]

The Guide to the implementation of directives based on the New Approach and the Global Approach is intended to contribute to a better understanding of EU product rules and to their more uniform and coherent application across different sectors and throughout the single market. It is addressed to the Member States and others who need to be informed of the provisions designed to ensure the free circulation of products as well as a high level of protection throughout the Union (e.g.. trade and consumer associations, standardisation bodies, manufacturers, importers, distributors, conformity assessment bodies and trade unions).

This is intended purely as a guidance document – only the text of the Union harmonisation act itself has legal force.

You can find the 2022 Blue Guide in all EU languages here.


List of language requirements for the owner’s manual for all EU/EEA countries

You will find below a list (dated: February 2022) indicating in which countries which language(s) are officially required for Owner's Manuals.

Austria German only (not yet officially confirmed)
Belgium Dutch, French and German
Bulgaria Bulgarian
Croatia Croatian only (not yet officially confirmed)
Cyprus Greek (if possible in English too)
Czech Republic Czech
Denmark Danish (Norwegian or Swedish, if not misunderstood)
Estonia Estonian only (not yet officially confirmed)
Finland Finnish and Swedish
France French
Germany German
Greece Greek
Hungary Hungarian only (not yet officially confirmed)
Iceland Icelandic
Ireland English
Italy Italian
Latvia Latvian or another language easily understood by the end user
Lithuania Lithuanian
Luxembourg French, German or Luxembourgish
Malta English or Maltese
Netherlands Dutch or English
Norway Norwegian (Danish or Swedish, if not misunderstood)
Poland Polish only (not yet officially confirmed)
Portugal Portuguese
Romania Romanian or another language easily understood by the end user
Slovenia Slovenian
Slovakia Slovak
Spain Spanish
Sweden Swedish
Switzerland German, French, Italian or English


...we CErtify the best.

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