New rules have been announced for the sale of second hand boats between the EU and the UK - and it will end up costing owners and brokers

Owners and brokers of second hand boats, who want to sell between the UK and the EU, will face an additional bill of between £500-£5,000 for a Post Construction Assessment and third-party verification.

Both the UK and EU have confirmed that any vessel being traded second-hand between the UK and EU will be required to meet the obligations set out in either the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) in the EU or the Recreational Craft Regulations (RCR) in the UK when placed on either market after the 1 January 2021.

A pre-owned vessel being imported from the EU to be placed on the UK market will, after 1 January 2022 (due to the one year grace period the UK has given to CE marked new products being placed on the UK market), be required to obtain a new UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark in line with the requirements of the RCR.

In order to obtain a UKCA mark, a boat will require a Post Construction Assessment and third-party verification.

Similar rules will apply when selling vessels into the EU.

Pre-owned CE marked vessels which were in the UK at the end of the Brexit transition period (31 December 2020), when exported to the EU will be required to undergo a recertification of the CE mark when being placed on the EU market.

This means a boat will require a Post Construction Assessment in line with the RCD and third-party verification.

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The estimated costs of Post Construction Assessments and verification are between £500-£5,000 dependent on the vessel.

The RYA and British Marine say boat brokerages, distributors, boat owners and buyers ‘may well be heavily affected by this post-Brexit position, as the responsibility will fall upon them to ensure a vessel meets the applicable requirements before buying and selling second-hand boats between the UK and EU.’

They are currently liaising with the European Boating Industry association in order to raise concerns with this position in Europe whilst also directly engaging with BEIS in the UK.

The CEO of British Marine, Lesley Robinson, said it was working hard to represent affected members and seek clarification of the exact ramifications of these regulations.

‘As a consequence of Brexit, this is a complex and potentially difficult situation. Faced with the process of individual boat re-certification, boat builders, brokers and consumers will be impacted in terms of both time and cost when selling and buying second-hand boats cross borders,’ she added.

The RYA director of external affairs Howard Pridding described the move as ‘yet another unanticipated and unwelcome aspect of Brexit which could affect many owners financially through no fault of their own.’

‘We are working in partnership with industry to better understand and mitigate the situation and potential cost burden,’ added Pridding.

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