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The Impact of Brexit on the Import and Registration of Watercraft

As of its withdrawal from the European Union on 1 January 2021, known as “Brexit”, the United Kingdom is considered a third country, i.e. a country that is not a member of the EU. Brexit affects the import of watercraft and watercraft engines.

Watercraft and engines placed on the market or put into service in the UK before its withdrawal from the EU are considered legal. As of 1 January 2021, these products are governed by the rules applying to imports from third countries (compare with the USA, for example).

Watercraft and engines placed on the market or put into service in the UK before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 are not affected by the changes resulting from Brexit.

It should be noted that the relevant factor in this context is the time at which the product was placed on the market, and not the time of manufacture. This is considered to  have taken place when the product has left the manufacturer and been placed on the market for distribution, consumption or use. Invoices or other relevant documents can be used as proof.

Watercraft and engines that have been in use elsewhere in the EU or EEA and imported into the UK after the end of the transition period may also be imported into Finland at a later time. The origin of the products must be determined and it must be ensured that they have previously been in use in the EU or EEA.

Watercraft and engines manufactured and placed on the market in a country that is not a member of the EU or EEA and imported from the UK into Finland for recreational use are processed in the same manner as other products imported from outside the EU/EEA.
Even in the case of used watercraft or engines, a declaration of conformity in Finnish or Swedish must be presented for registration if the watercraft or engine was placed on the market after the end of the transition period (i.e. after 31 December 2020).

Watercraft and engines manufactured and placed on the market in the EU or EEA before Brexit will continue to be accepted.

The status of distributors importing watercraft and engines from the UK has also changed as of 1 January 2021. As they are now considered importers, their obligations under the Recreational Craft Directive are modified accordingly (Article 9).

If a manufacturer established in the UK has a manufacturer code issued by the UK authorities, it must apply to the national authorities of an EU Member State for a new manufacturer code.

Manufacturers established in third countries and intending to place their products on the EU market after the end of the transition period must similarly apply to the national authorities of an EU Member State for a new manufacturer code if they currently have a manufacturer code issued by the UK authorities.

Certificates issued by notified bodies established in the UK are no longer valid in the EU/EEA.

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