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Due to the continually changing nature of the marine industry, the Technical team is here to keep members up to date with the changing regulations and to give you a voice in industry discussions with regulators - from the International Maritime Organisation at the highest level through to discussions with your local navigation authorities.

To ensure that your voice is heard British Marine members are made aware of all important consultations and have the opportunity to engage with regulators.

Recreational Craft in the UK

Recreational craft operating in the UK may have varying requirements placed upon them depending on their age and their regular cruising grounds.  Please note that due to the constantly evolving nature of the marine industry this list should not be considered exhaustive. Members should log in for guidance documents, templates and the most up to date information to ensure your products meet the legal requirements. Please contact the Technical team for further information at

Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) and Recreational Craft Regulations (RCR)

Since 1998 the UK has required all recreational watercraft being placed on the market to meet the RCD and the UK's transposition of the directive in UK law, the RCR. Following the UK's departure from the European Union the RCR has been amended to meet the UK's new independent status.

The Recreational Craft Regulations 2017 (SI 737) as Amended.

From the 1st of January 2021 recreational craft placed on the market must meet the requirements of the RCR as amended. There is a two year transition for recreational craft and certain components to change from being CE certified to UKCA certified.

The Recreational Craft Directive for EU exports.

The RCD sets out a uniform level of safety requirements in the design and manufacture of recreational craft throughout the European Economic Area (no longer including the UK). It covers new craft to be used for sporting and recreational purposes with hull lengths between 2.5 and 24 metres (with some specific exclusions), as well as certain items of equipment.

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Boat Safety Scheme (BSS)

The Boat Safety Scheme, or BSS, is a public safety initiative owned by the Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency.  Its purpose is to help minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions, or pollution harming visitors to the inland waterways, the waterways' workforce and any other users.  Compliance is a compulsory requisite of obtaining a navigation licence on certain Navigation Authorities waterways.

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Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA)

The MCA provides information on the regulations applicable to pleasure vessels.

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