The International Standards Organisation (ISO) publishes standards on
a vast range of subjects, including small craft (under 24m by
ISO/TC188) and large yachts (over 24m by ISO/TC8/SC12). We
represent the industry at each of these standards committees and
the many working groups under the control of the principal
The Technical Committee dedicated to small craft standards,
ISO/TC188, was established over 25 years ago and develops standards
for all aspects of small craft design and build, including
equipment, systems, handling, stability and construction.
Many of these standards are developed in support of the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) and
when published provide boatbuilders with a means of demonstrating
conformity with the RCD Essential Safety Requirements (ESR).
ISO Standard Revisions
To view a list of ISO standards
currently under revision please click here.
The principal committee in the UK is GME/33 Small Craft,
constituting a broad cross-section of the marine industry, Chaired
by the British Marine Federation and comprising navigation
authorities such as Canal & Rivers Trust, the
Agency, and the Broads
Authority, user representative organisations such as
Royal Yachting Association and the
National Association of Boat Owners,
classification societies such as American Bureau of Shipping and
Lloyds Register and regulators
such as the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
The Technical Committee in the UK for large yacht standards,
ISO/TC8/SC12, also Chaired by the BMF, was established in 2007
as a new committee to develop standards for boats over 24m length
in support of current national and international codes for large
yachts (superyachts), such as the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Large Yacht Code LY3. The work programme of this committee is
developing with industry assistance, provided in the UK by British
Marine Federation association Superyacht UK.
Standards developed for European Directives, such as the RCD,
are mandated by the European standards body, European Committee for Standardization
(CEN) and when published by CEN are known as harmonised
standards. When standards are harmonised to the RCD they are
entered into the
All CEN standards are published and implemented in each of the
EU member states as national standards. In the UK BSI publishes
these standards as BS EN xxxxx where xxxxx is the number of the
standard given by CEN. Essentially a harmonised standard is an
agreement between all participating members stating that the
standard is acceptable for use in all countries and meets the
previous national requirements of each country.
Standards for small craft are developed by ISO/TC188 under an
agreement whereby CEN adopts the published ISO standards and
publishes as EN standards. For small craft standards, harmonised to
the RCD, and published in the UK by BSI, the reference is therefore
BS EN ISO xxxxx.
In the UK, standards work is carried out through the British Standards Institute (BSI),
with shadow committees for each ISO Technical Committee. We provide
industry representation at committees covering, in addition to
small craft and large yachts, gas systems, lifejackets and marine
electrical systems. Members support the Technical team as necessary
on detailed topics such as steering systems, scantlings, fire
protection and stability.