The new Recreational Craft and Personal Watercraft Directive (RCD) 2013/53/EU), which became applicable in January 2016, requires a ‘Declaration of Conformity’ (DoC) to be issued along with each boat, personal watercraft (PWC) or marine engine placed on the European market.
A DoC is a special document, which the manufacturer is responsible for, to say that the product meets all of the requirements of the applicable directives.
However, while the new RCD specifies the minimum amount of information the DoC must contain (as stipulated in Annex IV of the Directive), it does not specify the exact format or provide an official template for industry to use – and this can create ambiguity.
In anticipation of this, in 2012 a stakeholder group including the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), began revising existing DoC templates to cover the new RCD requirements in design, construction and noise emission requirements of recreational craft, marine engines (inboard/outboard) and PWC. The templates, including those which have recently been approved by the AdCo members, are available for download for free from the ICOMIA Online Library.
“From the manufacturer/boat builder perspective, the new DoCs help clarify any ambiguity that may have existed in meeting requirements without an official template – and from AdCo’s perspective, it makes their job easier if there is a standard template in use” explains Udo Kleinitz, ICOMIA Secretary General. “Getting the RCD DoC template set relevant to the manufacturing sector approved by the authorities is a major coup for the industry as they provide a legitimate ‘passport’ for the product”.
These new format templates have now been approved by EU Member State representatives, and market surveillance authorities, known as the Administrative Cooperation Group (AdCo), as well as the European Commission. This means boat builders, engine and PWC manufacturers’, and Notified Bodies’ now have a harmonized format to meet Annex IV requirements and are able to make a clear interpretation of the statutory requirements of the new RCD.