CE marking of ammonia-powered sport yachts

Motorized boat

For a study published today, the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM) investigated how to enable the use of ammonia as a climate-neutral fuel for sport yachts in line with safety and environmental requirements. Since the EU safety standards for small watercrafts do not yet contain any requirements in this regard, the study makes proposals for a future design of the regulations.

According to estimates, there are around half a million sport yachts in Germany, a large proportion of which run on fossil fuel. Green ammonia produced from renewable energies could be used in the future as a climate-neutral alternative and contribute to the decarbonization of shipping.

Tim Langenhorst, Head of the Energy Law Department at IKEM, explains: “In order to gain acceptance for ammonia as a marine fuel, a high level of protection must be ensured. Like gasoline and diesel, the improper use of ammonia can be dangerous and cause environmental damage. In this context, appropriate safety measures can prevent or minimize risks arising from the use of ammonia. Legal requirements and safety measures therefore exist for on-shore facilities, where ammonia is stored or used. For shipping, however, no practicable regulations exist to date.”

“With our study, we have identified a regulatory gap for sport yachts with ammonia-based power and energy supply systems. Until now, there was no European norm for this area of application that regulates the product safety requirements for CE marking. In order to overcome this hurdle for the use of the climate-neutral energy source ammonia, we have developed proposals for the formulation of a new harmonised norm in the study,” says study author Josefine Lyda, scientific researcher at IKEM.

The norm text conceived in the study covers, among other things, safety aspects of engines and engine compartments, ventilation, fuel and electrical systems, fire fighting and exhaust emissions from propulsion engines. The study also outlines the steps necessary to implement the proposals in a European norm.


The study “Analysis and further development of the legal framework for the CE marking of sport yachts with ammonia-based propulsion and energy system” was developed in the sub-project CF07 of the research project CAMPFIRE – funded by the program “WIR! – Change through Innovation in the Region” of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The aim of CAMPFIRE is to develop new processes for the decentralized production of ammonia based on renewable energies and to promote the use of ammonia as a marine fuel.


IKEM – Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility e.V.