2nd June 2015
The European Commission has confirmed to the European Boating Association (EBA) that at the present time there has been no agreement between the EU and US negotiators to specifically address recreational craft in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) sectoral regulatory discussions.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is primarily aimed at reducing tariffs and regulatory barriers to trade between the US and EU countries. The intent is to make it easier for companies on both sides of the Atlantic to access each other’s markets.
Whilst the EBA recognises that the European Commission wishes to negotiate a reasonable and balanced trade agreement with the United States of America which abolishes customs duties on each other’s products, it was concerned that the negotiations will be taken a significant step further in recognising each other’s product standards. The EBA believes this is inappropriate in relation to Directive 94/25/EC relating to recreational craft, as amended by Directive 2003/44/EC.
Following its General Assembly in April 2015 in Venice, Italy, the EBA wrote to the European Commission to voice its view that the current trade negotiations should not agree on a common approach based on the concept of “functional equivalence” of European CE-marked and US certified products, nor a procedure for achieving full equivalence of the technical standards used for design and construction of watercraft.
The EBA has since received confirmation from the European Commission that at the present time there has been no agreement between the EU and US negotiators to specifically address recreational craft in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) sectoral regulatory discussions.
Stuart Carruthers, EBA General Secretary, commented: “The EBA is pleased to receive this clarification from the European Commission. Members of the EBA were in agreement that the safety of Europe’s boating public should not be sacrificed in pursuit of free trade and therefore that the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) should not be included in the TTIP negotiations.”