Recreational Crafts Regulations – Malta Standards Authority

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Recreational Crafts Regulations - Malta Standards AuthorityThe Malta Standards Authority (MSA) reminds those interested or involved in the manufacture or importation of recreational crafts or their engines of the safety legislation applicable to such products.

The following products are regulated by the Recreational Crafts Regulations, Legal Notice 128 of 2005:

(a) Recreational Crafts, defined as any type of boat intended for sports and leisure purposes of hull length from 2.5m to 24m, regardless of the means of propulsion. This includes dual-purpose crafts that can be used for both leisure purposes and other uses such as fishing or commercial activities;

(b) Personal Watercrafts, defined as a vessel less than 4m in length with an internal combustion engine having a water jet pump and designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing or kneeling on, rather than within the confines of, a hull;

(c) Propulsion engines, defined as any spark or compression ignition, internal combustion engine used for propulsion purposes, including two-stroke and four-stroke inboard, stern-drive with or without integral exhaust and outboard engines.

The regulations apply even to crafts or engines imported as second-hand from outside the EU and in cases where crafts or engines are imported for own use by the end-user. Moreover, classification is based on the intended use set by the original manufacturer, not on the actual use by the local end-user.

Under these regulations, each individual craft or engine must:

Bear the CE-mark in a permanent, visible and legible manner. Only the manufacturer can affix the CE-mark;

Display the manufacturer’s name;

Be accompanied by an owner’s manual in, at least, the English or Maltese language;

Be accompanied by a “Declaration of Conformity” issued by the manufacturer;

In the case of crafts, the “Hull Identification Number”, boat design category, maximum recommended load and maximum number of persons on boat must also be displayed permanently on the hull;

In the case of engines, these must also be permanently marked with a unique identification number, engine type and engine family.

Anyone wishing to import crafts or engines is thus encouraged to ensure the above requirements are fulfilled before purchasing. It is also suggested that a copy of the “Declaration of Conformity” is obtained from the manufacturer beforehand and this can be sent to MSA for an opinion.

Certain types of crafts and engines are excluded from these legal requirements. Amongst these are those crafts or engines:

– intended by the original manufacturer solely for racing purposes;

– intended specifically by the original manufacturer to carry passengers for commercial purposes;

– built by a manufacturer specifically for his own use, provided they are not subsequently placed on the market for a period of five years;

– original historical crafts or replicas thereof, designed before 1950, built predominantly with the original materials and labelled as such by the manufacturer.

Any person who fails to comply with these regulations may be liable to fines under the Product Safety Act (Cap.427) of up to €23,293.73, and/or imprisonment not exceeding four years, besides restrictive measures being taken on the non-compliant products.

For further information or queries on this issue MSA can be contacted via telephone number 2395 2000 or via email

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