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Vendors could face £5k costs when selling a used boat post-Brexit

Vendors of used boats could face additional costs of between £500 and £5,000, in order to comply with post-Brexit rules, British Marine and the RYA warn.

The two organisations have been working to understand different aspects of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, following its release earlier this year.

Their latest “unwelcome” revelation is that selling a used boat between the UK and EU will come with additional paperwork and significant cost.

They say 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 1 January 2021”.

“This means that a pre-owned vessel being imported from the EU to be placed on the UK market, will be required to obtain a new UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark, in line with the requirements of the RCR,” the joint statement from British Marine and the RYA says.

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.

For pre-owned CE-marked vessels which were in the UK at the moment of Brexit – 11pm on 31 December 2020 – when exported to the EU, they 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.

The RYA and British Marine warn that 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’.

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

British Marine and the RYA 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.

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said: “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.

“At this stage in time, British Marine is working hard to represent affected members and seek clarification of the exact ramifications of these regulations.”

Howard Pridding, RYA Director of External Affairs, said: “This is 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.”

The news comes after British Marine and the RYA received further information from both the EU Commission and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the trade of pre-owned CE marked recreational craft between the UK and EU, following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

British Marine members can contact the British Marine technical team with queries.

RYA members can contact the Brexit team at: Brexit@rya.org.uk

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