CE Regulations Explained
The letters CE (Conformité Européenne) appear on many products that are traded on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA).
The CE marking is required for many products. It:
- shows that the manufacturer has checked that these products meet EU safety, health or environmental requirements
- is an indicator of a product’s compliance with EU legislation
- allows the free movement of products within the European market
By placing the CE marking on a product a manufacturer is declaring, on his sole responsibility, conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking. The manufacturer is thus ensuring validity for that product to be sold throughout the EEA. This also applies to products made in third countries which are sold in the EEA and Turkey.
The CE Regulations apply to craft up to 24m in length that are sold in the European Union. Although the regulations may not apply to your boat, they are a useful guide for small craft throughout the world.
The regulations have Design Categories for boats based on their intended use and propulsion (sail or power). They are as follows -
A. OCEAN: Designed for extended voyages where conditions may exceed wind force 8 (Beaufort scale) and significant wave heights of 4m and above and vessels largely self-sufficient.
B. OFFSHORE: Designed for offshore voyages where conditions up to and including wind force 8 and significant wave heights up to and including 4m may be experienced.
C. INSHORE: Designed for voyages in coastal waters, large bays, estuaries, lakes and rivers where conditions up to and including wind force 6 and significant wave heights up to and including 2m may be experienced.
D. SHELTERED WATERS: Designed for voyages on small lakes rivers and canals where conditions up to and including wind force 4 and significant wave heights up to and including 0,5m may be experienced.
The Regulations divide up the boats hull and deck into four specific Areas. A product, which is suitable for fitting to an area for which it is approved, is suitable for all the areas below its category. For example, a portlight, which is approved for Area 2 may also be fitted to Areas 3 and 4, but not Area 1.
CE Area diagrams courtesy of Lewmar Hatch and Portlight fitting guide.