On 18 September 2013, Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Robert Marx, President of European Boating Industry, signed a joint declaration stating the intention of both organizations to work together in order to reduce and looking ahead, eliminate, unnecessary regulatory costs and unjustified regulatory differences between the EU and the US in the boating industry.
This common declaration is occurring during the wider EU-US trade negotiations which were launched in July 2013 under the name of Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP).
President Robert Marx from European Boating Industry explained that “the US and the EU are natural trade partners and have a long tradition of exchanges in the boating industry, both at supply chain level (e.g. engines, equipment and components) and consumer levels. With similar boating cultures and notions of safety and environmental protection, regulatory differences are making trade complicated and expensive without bringing significant benefits to the final consumers.”
President Thom Dammrich added that, “The TTIP presents an opportunity to streamline regulations among the US and European boating industries. This move brings us closer to global harmonization of safety and environmental standards, while promoting business growth and trade.”
European Boating Industry and the NMMA submitted to the EU and US authorities a working paper in which they outlined the objectives they wish to achieve under the current trade negotiations. This paper sets out a common approach based on the concept of “functional equivalence” of European CE-marked and US certified products, with a procedure for achieving full equivalence on the regulatory aspects which are still different today for certain products and areas.
Both Presidents believe that the inclusion of the boating industry to the US-EU trade agreement could become a significant milestone for improving and simplifying trade conditions between the US and Europe for thousands of small and medium-sized companies in the boating industry.