Since Council Directive 96/98/EC on marine equipment entered into force on 1 January 1999, only bodies notified to the EU Commission ("notified bodies") have been authorized to perform type-testing of the marine equipment listed in the Directive, i.e. to perform an EU conformity assessment procedure. The Council Directive on marine equipment also includes provisions on the minimum requirements to be met by organisations planning
to perform such conformity assessment procedures. Annex A.1 of the Directive lists the marine equipment for which conformity assessment procedures have to be carried out. The Directive and its Annexes are continually updated.
When an organisation has applied for acceptance as a notified body, an assessment is made of its professional competence and ability to perform the conformity assessment procedure and of its independence, impartiality, and integrity. The competence of notified bodies is re-assessed regularly by the Member States - in the case of the BSH-Cert by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development - in conformity with procedures established by the accreditation bodies.
The standards of the EN 45000 series, the EN ISO/IEC standard, and the accreditation are important tools in the assessment of conformity with the requirements of the applicable Directive.
After an organisation has been notified by a Member State to the EU Commission, all other Member States are informed of the notification. The EU Commission keeps a list of all notified bodies which is published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
At the end of 1998, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development notified theBSH, since 01 March 2009 BSH-Cert, to theEU Commission as notified body in the Federal Republic of Germany, which is authorized to carry out conformity assessments according to Council Directive 96/98/EC on marine equipment.