IMPORTATION: Every year, recreational craft that do not adhere to CE marking standards are imported into Norway, rendering them ineligible for sale in the country.

Recreational craft with a hull length ranging from 2.5 to 24 metres must bear the CE mark before they can be introduced to the market or utilised in the European Economic Area (EEA). Recreational craft imported from countries outside the EEA must generally undergo CE marking before entering the market or being used in Norway.

The incident in Norway that led to the disposal of ten aluminium boats lacking adequate CE documentation is illustrative. Individuals or small companies often import boats from China or other non-EEA countries with the intention of selling them to Norwegian customers. However, when prompted by the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) to provide documentation demonstrating compliance with CE marking requirements, these importers often fall short.

"Importers should have this information or ensure its existence before importing the boats. Introducing non-compliant products to the Norwegian market is a violation of the Product Control Act," says Rune Vikse, Head of Section of Operative Supervision at the NMA.

The NMA may compel importers to recall all sold products. In such cases, corrective action, selling the product outside the EEA or product destruction are potential options.

Another alternative is to issue a withdrawal order, effectively imposing an import and sales ban.

How does this process work?

The Norwegian Maritime Authority collaborates with Norwegian Customs to ensure that boats on the Norwegian market meet safety standards and comply with basic requirements. Additionally, the aim is to identify instances where "shortcuts" have been taken.

In 2022, Norwegian Customs carried out 50,000 automatic inspections of imported recreational craft. Of these, 13,500 were subject to manual scrutiny, with 55 cases referred to the NMA. Typically, the number of referred cases ranges from 20 to 80.

Individuals opting to import a product from a non-EEA country are classified as importers to the EEA market. Importers must ascertain that the manufacturer has provided requisite information, that technical documentation is available, and that they are well-versed in applicable regulations and requirements.




What should you look for?

When purchasing a boat, ensure it bears a builder's plate displaying the contact information of the manufacturer and/or importer, along with details about the number of persons, engine size, etc. The boat should also be assigned a "WIN number" (Watercraft Identification Number), a unique identifier for the specific boat.

A declaration of conformity must accompany the product, outlining the technical standards adhered to by the manufacturer to meet CE marking requirements.

"The Norwegian Maritime Authority oversees recreational craft through the CE marking to instill confidence in consumers that the product meets minimum requirements. CE marking alone does not guarantee quality. The safety of the boat is determined by compliance with requirements, allowing for the application of the CE mark," explains Vikse.

The NMA publishes information about hazardous products on the website (only available in Norwegian), under "sport", "vann og fritid" and the search word "fritidsbåt".