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European Commission has established a group of requirements called the EU Directives (European Union Directives) which require goods in certain categories, including recreational boats, that are to be sold or imported into Europe, to confirm to a single set of harmonised standards. Builders manufacturing boats that meet these standards, and are certified as such, affix the CE (Conformite Europeene) insignia (above) to their products.

This CE mark indicates that a product complies with ALL the European Product Directives that apply to it. Products must comply with all the Directives that apply to it when being placed on the market or being put into service for the first time in the European Economic Area.

New Nordhavns
NORDHAVNS have been certified by the International Marine Certification Institute in Belgium and all new Nordhavns specifically purchased for importation into Europe are built as CE Certified, and can carry the CE mark.

Nordhavn Brokerage
Customers buying a US brokerage boat for import into Europe should contact the Hamble UK office for details of CE marking of these vessels.


Free movement within the EU
The EU Product Directives are intended to create a single legal structure within which products can be sold on the EU market without having to submit to a multitude of national assessment and approval regimes in member states.

A product that is proven to comply with the appropriate Directives in one EU member state must be accepted in all member states. A product must display the well now-familiar CE marking (shown above) once this has been achieved.

As these Directives are intended to overcome trade barriers, a Directive has achieved its purpose once a product has been traded. Thus products falling within the scope of such a Directive must comply at the first point of being "put on the market" or being "put into service". Thereafter the Directive carries no bearing on the operation and maintenance of the product. Other types of European Health & Safety legislation or national regulations may, depending on the product, regulate these issues downstream of the point of sale.


CE Category

Wind Force (Beaufort Scale)

Significant Wave Height

A – Ocean
Exceeding 8
Exceeding 4m
B – Offshore
Up to & inc 8
Up to & inc 4m
C – Inshore
Up to & inc 6
Up to & inc 2m
D – Sheltered
Up to & inc 4
Up to & inc 0.5m