Recreational Craft Directive

94/25/EC as amended

What is the Recreational Craft Directive?

The Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) 94/25/EC amended by 2003/44/EC details the requirements and modules that manufacturers of recreational craft must comply with. All craft and components covered by the Directive must comply with its requirements and bear the CE marking if required by Article 10 of the Directive.

The CE marking signifies that a manufacturer has declared that a product conforms to the requirements of the Directive (and any other Directives that may apply to it), and is safe for use. The CE mark alone is not a quality mark.

What does the Directive cover?

The Directive, under Annex I.A, covers all boats (regardless of the means of propulsion) with hull lengths between 2.5 and 24 metres, which are intended for sport and leisure purposes. This includes partly completed boats. It also covers craft used for charter or recreational boat training when they are placed on the market or brought into service for recreational purposes.

In addition propulsion engine exhaust emission requirements and noise requirements are covered under Annexes I.B and I.C, respectively.

  • The following components for recreational craft are covered under Annex II:
  • Ignition-protected equipment for inboard and stern drive engines.
  • Start-in-gear protection devices for outboard engines.
  • Steering wheels, steering mechanisms and cable assemblies.
  • Fuel tanks and fuel hoses.
  • Prefabricated hatches and portlights.

For information on what is not covered by the Directive please see Article 1 of the amending Directive 2003/44/EC.

Demonstrating compliance

Dependent on the product category of your craft or component, you can use one of a number of modules to demonstrate compliance with the Recreational Craft Directive. The applicable modules are also dependent on the Boat Design Category and the hull length. The modules are:

A - Internal Production Control

Aa - Internal Production Control plus Tests

B - EC Type Examination

C - Conformity to Type

D - Production Quality Assurance

E Product Quality Assurance

F - Product Verification

G - Unit Verification

H - Full Quality Assurance

For more information about the different modules and combinations that may apply, please see our Recreational Craft Directive: Modules page.

Our services


LRQA GmbH is an EU notified body for modules Aa, B, D, E, F, G and H. This enables us to undertake EC Type Examinations and audit quality systems used for design, production and final product inspection and testing.

What next? 

You can find the full text of the Recreational Craft Directive, and interpretation comments from the Recreational Craft Sector Group of notified bodies at

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