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Safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly boats and jet skis after European Parliament vote

9 October 2013

Safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly boats and jet skis after European Parliament vote

A new law that would make boats and jet skis safer and greener have sailed through the European Parliament today.

A new law that would make boats and jet skis safer and greener have sailed through the European Parliament today. The proposals on so-called recreational craft and personal watercraft have been steered through the Parliament by European Conservatives and Reformists Group Member Malcolm Harbour.

The new standards revise boat categories to base them on their tolerance to wind force and wave height. At present they are merely categorised according to the expected conditions of use – such as ‘in shore use’ or ‘on the high seas’.

The directive will also standardise the equipment fitted to the craft, so that manufacturers are not required to refit craft for each EU country in which they are sold. Some of the particular features required include requirements to fit holding tanks or on-board systems for sewage, and emergency stopping devices for outboard engines, electrical systems and batteries.

Emissions standards will also be stricter, aligning them to new US rules from 2015 to provide for global rules, with extra time for small manufacturers to adjust to the changes.

The EU will also strengthen market surveillance rules to ensure that non-compliant craft are not allowed onto the European marketplace.

Following today’s vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Harbour – who chairs the parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee – said:

“These revised rules will reduce the overall level of toxic emissions from watercraft while still allowing specialist engine manufacturers time to adapt their products. By aligning EU exhaust emissions with US levels we can give manufacturers greater certainty and work towards the adoption of common global emissions standards.

“Boats had previously been categorised purely on arbitrary categories such as whether they were fit for shore use or use on the high seas. Now they will be based on clear criteria related to their tolerance to wind and waves strength. These new categories will be much clearer for boat designers and buyers.

“In terms of the standard equipment fitted to recreational watercraft, the new Directive will boost the EU Single Market by putting an end to national variations that forced manufacturers to adapt to specific national requirements.

“Reinforced rules on checking and proving conformity with EU standards will also support European manufacturing, as these will contribute to reducing unfair competition by manufacturers importing into the EU boats built to a lower standard.”

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