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Thread: CE and rebreathers in France

  1. #1
    RBW Member curator is an unknown quantity at this point curator's Avatar
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    CE and rebreathers in France

    Hello All

    Sorry if this information is already on the site and I haven't found it.

    I have been offered a holiday in France in a week or so's time and I have to give an answer very quickly.

    My problem - I have a vague memory of someone saying thar there are restrictions on using non CE marked Rebreathers in French waters.

    Is this true and does it affect private divers not teaching or selling equipment?

    Or put another way, am I going to have a problem at a French Dive resort using My Home built "KISS" based rebreather?

    If it is true, how about a CE marked Classic inspiration with a heavily modified case/frame?

    Thanks in anticipation of your answers

    Curator

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    Re: CE and rebreathers in France

    I wouldn┤t know about the non CE in France but it wouldn┤t surprise me..

    As soon as you change anything on the rig that is not original it seems to me that that RB loses CE instantly.

  3. #3
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    Re: CE and rebreathers in France

    Quote Originally Posted by curator  View Original Post
    Hello All

    Sorry if this information is already on the site and I haven't found it.

    I have been offered a holiday in France in a week or so's time and I have to give an answer very quickly.

    My problem - I have a vague memory of someone saying thar there are restrictions on using non CE marked Rebreathers in French waters.

    Is this true and does it affect private divers not teaching or selling equipment?

    Or put another way, am I going to have a problem at a French Dive resort using My Home built "KISS" based rebreather?

    If it is true, how about a CE marked Classic inspiration with a heavily modified case/frame?

    Thanks in anticipation of your answers

    Curator
    Depends on the way you want to dive;if you want to dive in a French Structure,with boat,and if you pay for it,it would be pratically sure that diving with an non CE equipment will not be allowed by the responsable of the structure where you dive(Problem with insurances,etc...)
    Now if you are diving with your buddy,yourself for private,so no problem,you can use your non CE machine;
    Concerning now the question of modifiction on Inspo frame:I use an Inspi with alibox for my diving As the machine has not been modified,i mean that the control unit has not been modified,usually there is no problem for using my machine everywhere,even in commercial boats;
    Another example:Megalodon rebreathers are not CE;so no possible for owners to use it in commercial boats(when you ask,the reply is usally this one:"sorry,no possible till the Meg is not CE.....)
    Now i know several meg owners who usually dive "out commercial structure":in this case,the French Underwater Federation is not here to make the police.....but using it should be on their own risk ,considering insurance problem......
    For yourself,the best way is to ask the dive resort where you want to dive,in order to get informations about your case
    Best regards
    JÚr˘me

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    RBW Member curator is an unknown quantity at this point curator's Avatar
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    Re: CE and rebreathers in France

    Thanks for the replies,

    It's as I feared.

    Oh well, have to drag the inspo out.

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    Re: CE and rebreathers in France

    I think that the situation across the EU should be roughly the same as it is here in the UK, which also has to comply with EU regulations.

    In simple terms, a diver can use any non-CE equipment for diving within the EU as long as its:

    1. not for commercial gain (paid work) of any type, whether that be for commercial photography, archaeology, conservation, surveying, engineering etc.

    2. not whilst conducting training. This applies to both paid tuition or voluntary unpaid training through a club system such as the British Sub Aqua Club, Sub Aqua Association, Scottish Sub Aqua Club etc..)

    I have dived my non-CE Megalodon in several EU countries, including Spain and Ireland (Eire), and the only important matter is ensuring that all cylinders are CE stamped and in-test and (where required) Oxygen service, otherwise the dive centres won't fill them! They don't even look at the CCR unit, only the cylinders. If I'm instructing on a dive course than I revert to O/C and my (t)rusty twin-set.

    If you're arriving from outside the EU then I'd suggest hiring the cylinders locally from a dive centre to remove this issue.

    There is one other small matter that you may need to consider and that is the stupid and idiotic problem with the 'new' regulator fitting size for all Nitrox and O2 cylinders. You might need to get a DIN to M26 adapter for your regulators, but this can also be discussed with the local dive centres of you hire cylinders within the EU.

    Regards,

    Tony

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    Re: CE and rebreathers in France

    Tony,

    Its not the same in france, as has been stated higher up in the thread.

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    RBW Member josepherely is an unknown quantity at this point josepherely's Avatar
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    Re: CE and rebreathers in France

    Tony, as mentioned not the same - ze fronch well alweys do it a litl bitt difffiront....

    France has a law on recreational diving. This means that if you go diving with a dive club/ dive center, for profit or not, then the dive club is obliged to ensure that there is adequate supervision (which if trimix rebrerather diving will, more or less, usually mean a certified instructor for that depth, machine & mix) AND that the machine complies with EU standards for safety , ie CE certified. As there are lots of discussions on CE certification, individual choice etc etc etc won't go into the merits or otherwise of this. Also plenty of other rules such as depth, qualifications, back up equipment, medicals etc etc as you would expect.

    If the club/center is found breaking these rules then they may be liable under law for manslaughter etc, may be fined, may have permit revoked etc etc, so you will generally find that unless you have a very good relationship with you they will not turn a blind eye. Modifications of units are generally ignored (but not always) as in practise the authorities overlook this as well in case of an investigation/control. This may not be logical, but that is how it is.

    In theory this also applies to recreational diving outside of a dive club, however who will stop you? I have not heard of cases outside of a dive club/center.

    Other countries have regulations as well to control sports/recreational diving, particularly the med countries as generally easy to dive so over time there have been calls to regulate, and politicians love to do just that.

    Hope that clarifies for anyone traveling to such locations and helps avoid disapointment. Interestingly these regulations would also apply to hard boats coming across to dive on the French coast from the South of England, such as dives on the Leopold, the skippers / organisers are probably unaware of this and leave themselves exposed to having their boat impounded and quite large fines. I suspect the French authorities turn a blind eye, however if there was an accident this would not be the case.

    Joe
    Last edited by josepherely; 18th September 2010 at 11:30.

  8. #8
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    Re: CE and rebreathers in France

    Quote Originally Posted by josepherely  View Original Post
    France has a law on recreational diving. This means that if you go diving with a dive club/ dive center, for profit or not, then the dive club is obliged to ensure that there is adequate supervision (which if trimix rebrerather diving will, more or less, usually mean a certified instructor for that depth, machine & mix)
    Actually, the law only states that the dive supervisor, liable for conducting dive operations on his boat, has the right level of certification for the depth and gas that are breathed. Not for the specific machine (unlike what some pretend in order to justify that you can't dive on their boat, simply as an excuse).
    Quote Originally Posted by josepherely  View Original Post
    AND that the machine complies with EU standards for safety , ie CE certified.
    Yes this is correct. The law in France can't lift some of the EU requirements, but it can and certainly does add a few constraints. Knowing that liability waivers have no legal ground here, one can understand how dive supervisors want to be covered and only allow CE-certified rebreather on board (or CE-certified-looking )....

    Quote Originally Posted by josepherely  View Original Post
    In theory this also applies to recreational diving outside of a dive club, however who will stop you?
    Not true. That law very specifically only applies to "diving structure": dive clubs, chartered boat, commercial operations, etc.
    Especially it doesn't apply if you diving on your own: you can import a non-CE rebreather (or build you own) and go shore diving, or rent a boat with a friend and dive whatever rig you see fit: this is legal. It also doesn't apply for cave diving.

  9. #9

    Re: CE and rebreathers in France

    I can tell from experience it's not the same in France (like people already stated in this topic). I lived there for a while.

    You can always contact me in pm if you have any specific questions though.

  10. #10
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    Re: CE and rebreathers in France

    Charter boats, dive centres, dive schools etc = no
    Private diving = no problem
    Guest of a club = technically no, but some clubs can be a little more relaxed

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