The request for an additional Directive came during a committee discussion over an existing straightforward Recreational Craft Directive which covers boat manufacturing and the requisite safety and emissions standards.
In discussions around this Directive a Dutch MEP proposed the following:
- "There is no harmonisation or level playing field with regard to water craft licences or technical checks, and tax evasion can still take place through the use of agricultural diesel. Therefore the Commission should consider submitting proposals to harmonise water craft licences at Union level, to encourage regular technical checks and to prevent tax evasion by discouraging the use of agricultural diesel."
This amendment if unchallenged would have major implications for all UK boaters as it introduces the idea of compulsory driving-type licences for boaters, compulsory checks on boats and threatens the supply of red diesel.
The Canal & River Trust is contacting EU and UK politicians and officials to register its concern that this approach would cause unnecessary cost for the boating community and should be rejected at the earliest stage possible.
We would also urge boaters, canal societies and boating companies to engage with the Inland Waterways Association campaign on this issue and write to your local MEP flagging-up the issue and asking them to lobby Malcolm Harbour MEP the Chair of the committee discussing the Directive.
The relevant information can be found at: https://www.waterways.org.uk/news_campaigns/campaign_news/european_union_amendment_threatens_uk_boating