RYA victory

A Dutch MEP who called for UK yachtsmen to be licenced has been ‘gagged’ by the RYA. Toine Manders’ bid to add licensing, a ban on the use of red diesel, and mandatory safety checks to gas use aboard yachts has been thwarted.

The RYA has been successful in getting the proposed legislative article, put forward by Manders for a revision of the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD), removed.
There has been considerable concern about the European Parliament’s latest amendments to a revision of the RCD and in particular an amendment which urged the commission to: consider submitting proposals to harmonise watercraft licences at Union level, to encourage regular technical checks and to prevent tax evasion by discouraging the use of agricultural diesel.

The RYA immediately responded to all involved in the revision to object to the new article in the strongest terms, stating that it was our clear belief that the proposal had nothing to do with laying down essential safety requirements that manufacturers must adhere to when designing watercraft and when placing them on the EU market.

As a result the article has been removed from the Directive revision and now appears as a paragraph (recital) in the preamble.

Stuart Carruthers, Cruising Manager said: “This proposal has no legal force now because it is simply a recital, not an article within the Directive. However, it has only served to confuse and alarm people because it draws the Commission’s attention to these issues. It is the RYA’s position that the sole remit of the Directive is to lay down the essential technical and safety requirements for watercraft that are bought and used in the EU.

“We have made representations to the Chairman of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, the current Presidency of the EU and to the UK Government to make clear our view that the RCD revision should not include these recommendations as they cover issues that do not fall within the EU’s responsibilities.

The RYA has been involved in the revision of the RCD with the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR) and the UK Government since work started in 2008.

“We became aware that the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (responsible for tabling a report on the Revision to the European Parliament) had added a new legislative article to the revision at the request of Dutch MEP Toine Manders who wanted to draw attention to these issues and we made our position clear at that time” concludes Carruthers.

The RYA is urging the UK Government to ensure that this text is removed altogether from the RCD Directive during final negotiations before it is approved.