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The Directive for Recreational Craft was introduced in June 1998 by law in Denmark as well as the rest of the EU including Greenland, Switzerland, and Norway. Yachts and vessels for recreational use built or imported into EU after this date must, as a general rule be CE – certified and comply with applicable legislation.

This applies to all recreational craft up to 24 meters hull length, whether they are built in large series or as one off yacht.

One of the proofs that the yacht or vessel is legally CE certified is a builders plate with the characteristic CE logo mounted on the yacht, and that there among the yachts documents is a Declaration of Conformity having the yachts identification and signature of the manufacturer on the document (both can be seen in the pictures to the right).

The Directive has an the exception, that self-built boats  put on the market from the builder after 5 years from commissioning do not have to be CE certified. However, many insurance companies will appreciate the CE certification, to ensure that the boat meets current safety minimum standards.

Other exceptions from the Directive are sailing yachts and motor yachts, which are used exclusively for racing. In such cases the yacht must be labelled as such by the manufacturer.

The Directive was amended in January 2006 to also include jet skis (jet boats), so that these could also be CE certified.

With this amendment of the Directive, it was also introduced that all engines imported into EU after this date must be provided with an emission certificate or at least be provided with a plaque (shown in the picture to the right) which proves that the engine is accordance to stricter pollution requirements, as required by the 2006 Directive.

Engines that do not have this plaque must not, as a rule, be imported into EU after January 2006. This applies to virtually all engines produced before 2006, when the pollution requirements were specified.

For non-CE-certified yachts (self-built or imported) there is an  option to get the yacht or vessel via a post-certification process (Post Construction Assessment – PCA).

The CE certification is offered by many, unfortunately also unauthorized companies/persons, which is why you should have a critical attitude towards the Declaration of Conformity or CE certificates you are presented to in connection a purchase.

We work closely together with IMCI (International Marine Certification Institute), and you can find information about possible forgeries on their website (

If you want further guidance, check for authenticity of certificates, or have specific questions about CE marking, you are welcome to contact us by phone or e-mail.

We can help with everything from purchase, documentation, registration and inspection.