Enjoying Water Leisure Safely – Standards and the EU Recreational Craft Directive 

European standardization and the EU Single Market campaign

In the middle of this sunny summer, many of us will head to the seaside and enjoy a recreational craft, such as a boat cruise, windsurf racing, hiking with a dinghy or paddling a kayak.

About 48 million EU citizens participate regularly in water sports, out of which 36 million participate regularly in boating activities. The safety of this equipment is monitored and improved upon with the help of the ‘Recreational Craft Directive’s’ harmonized standards. For this, we would like to thank and congratulate European and international standardizers in the recreational sector, who contribute to making citizens’ lives safer every day in the European Union!

The recreational craft sector industry in Europe represents a market estimated at €34 billion in manufacturing turnover employing 1,000,000 people with some 100,000 companies (primarily small to medium-sized businesses - (SMEs)). With the 25 million recreational boats in operation and 25,000 marinas, the sector provides indirect economic contributions from a highly varied supply chain and an array of services related to recreational boating. After facing a difficult time due to the 2008 financial crisis, the sector is slowly recovering.

The work of our Technical Committees directly supports European Union (EU) legislation, particularly the 2013/53/EU Recreational Craft Directive.

Customers can count on European standardization to make sure that Standards integrate the views of all stakeholders such as SMEs, but also consumers and societal organizations.

Udo Kleinitz, Secretary General of ICOMIA (the International Council of Marine Industry Associations), highlights the importance of standardization in support of European legislation for the recreational craft industry: “we cannot only encourage legislation to follow the goal of having Harmonized Standards, we also have to produce a reference: that reference exist in the form of ISO or European Standards.”

Watch Udo Kleinitz interview on the contribution of standardization to the EU Single Market.

Discover the various areas where standardization is active in the recreational craft sector: