Recreational Craft Directive

Design Categories



Significant Wave Height *

Windforce (Beaufort)




Exceeding 4m **


Exceeding 8


Up to & including 4m

Up to & including 8


Up to & including 2m

Up to & including 6


Up to & including 0,3 m

Up to & including 4



* Significant wave height means the average height of the highest third of the waves over a given period. Waves of double that height may occasionally be experienced.

** The RSG , the Notified Bodies’ forum for the European Recreational Craft Directive, has recommended a wave of 7m be used for assessment purposes.


It is possible for a vessel to have a CE marking in more than one RCD design category provided all requirements for those categories are met.

Conformity Assessment

All EU Directives have conformity assessment modules. These define what documentation is required, whether a Notified Body (certifier) must be involved and to what extent.

The choice of modules is restricted by the risk associated with the vessel. Risk is measured by design category and hull length. CEproof will be very pleased to advise on the options available.

However, a private importer, who has a boat that needs CE marking without the involvement of the manufacturer, has no choice but to use a conformity route that is unique to RCD: Post Construction Assessment. This is discussed in the next section.