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  • 2021-Nov-19


Can a new Recreational Craft Directive be expected?

The EU Commission must submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council by January 18, 2022, to clarify a number of key points in the RCD

According to Article 52 of the currently valid Recreational Craft Directive, the EU Commission must submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council by January 18, 2022, which is to clarify the following points, taking into account the cost-effectiveness of the respective technologies. Developments in the field of international standardisation must be taken into account, also with a view to possible worldwide harmonisation. It shall:

a) determine the technical feasibility of further reducing exhaust emissions from propulsion engines

b) consider the possible introduction of requirements for evaporative emissions from associated fuel systems

c) determine whether the design categories for craft based solely on wind force and significant wave height are still considered suitable

d) Consider whether additional specifications or sub-categories are required for the design categories.

Depending on the results of the investigation, the report may have to be accompanied by corresponding proposals for legislative amendment.

The EU Commission commissioned appropriate studies from experienced, competent research institutions in good time and in due form.

But then came the coronavirus!

The studies were completed at the end of August and submitted to the Commission. However, the Commission will not be able to present a legislative proposal on time, but will only publish two reports that can at least outline a possible revision. I expect that there will be a tightening up with regard to emissions from engines and their fuel systems. With regard to the design categories, however, it is likely that very little will probably happen.

So the Commission will start a new procedure in early 2022, which will take a lot of time. If a new legislative proposal is made, it will probably take then another three to four years before a new EU Directive can be implemented at all national levels.

For now at least, it looks likely that we will enjoy a period of calm, something to be thankful for given the upheaval we have all recently had to endure!