by Emma Slater
The RYA will withdraw as a Notified Body for the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) and the Personal Protective Equipment Directive after nearly 10 years as a successful Notified Body at the end of 2012.
RYA withdraws as recreational craft directive notified body
First introduced in 1998 the RCD was brought in as a trade directive to ensure that all boats built and imported into the European Union were built and sold above a minimum set of standards. Once implemented, the RYA’s involvement as a Notified Body looked to provide manufacturers with a less daunting option than a Classification Society and at a more reasonable cost, as well as allowing the RYA hands on experience with the standards prescribed within the RCD and the ability to assess and influence those standards.
Originally there was a large amount of uncertainty of the effect the RCD would have on the boat building industry in the UK and how much impact this would have on the end user. The RYA have worked hard to ensure that its services are accessible not only to the industry but also to those individuals looking for advice on self-certification under the RCD as well as those building boats at home or importing from abroad.
The decision to withdraw as a notified body has been made following a review of the RYA Notified Body activities which found the RYA had achieved the majority of those goals set back in 1998.
'This is not a decision we have taken lightly but when the activity as a whole was looked at, it became clear that it had achieved its objectives and that now was a good opportunity to look at how the RYA Technical Department could adapt its services to move more in-line with its personal membership. We will of course continue to work with our current clients over the next couple of months and help them complete their projects where possible and if needs be help them transfer their projects onto other Notified Bodies', explained RYA Technical Manager, Bas Edmonds.
Initially working through the Irish Sailing Association before becoming a Notified Body in its own right in 2003, the RYA have completed a wide range of assessments working with some major British manufacturers in getting their models assessed and onto the water. This is also coupled with working with individuals looking to import boats from outside of the EU, home build boats and component parts such as steering wheels.
Bas went on to explain: 'By withdrawing from the RCD it does mean that the range of services offered by the RYA Technical Department will be slightly different and we are looking at a number of options and services we can offer in its place that will appeal to a wider range of the membership. However we will continue to offer services such as the issue of Craft Identification Numbers and the RCD Web subscription website.
'The RYA will continue to keep a close eye on both the practical day to day processes involved in the RCD as well as influencing both the ISO Standards and the EU Directive at the highest levels to ensure that the end result is a safe, sensible boat for the end user.'