Clean outboard motor requirements in Amsterdam

Please note: from 1st of January 2017, outboard motors in Amsterdam are required to be much cleaner. From that date onwards, it is prohibited to sail with two-stroke outboard motors purchased before 2007 in most waterways. (Historical vessels are exempt, see section 10).

Your outboard motor must at least comply with the standards set out in the European Recreational Craft Directive 2003/44/EC. 

  • Did  you purchase your two-stroke outboard motor in The Netherlands after 2007? Then your motor complies with 2003/44/EC directive and you do not need to take any action.
  • Does your Two-stroke outboard motor fail to meet the standards set out in the European Recreational Craft Directive 2003/44/EC? Then you are only permitted to sail on the main waterways in Amsterdam. Please read section 5.
  • Historical vessels with built-in two-stroke motors are still allowed. Please read section 10. 

1. What is a two-stroke outboard motor and how can I recognise one?

A two-stroke motor is a motor which is fuelled by a mix of oil and petrol. 

2. Does this restriction apply for all boats with a two-stroke outboard motor?

No, this restriction only applies to two-stroke outboard motors that do not comply with the standards set out in the European Recreational Craft Directive 2003/44/EC. Only the use of two-stroke outboard motors which were sold before 2007 is restricted. 

3. The Evinrude E-Tec motor is a new clean two-stroke outboard motor which is not banned in other countries. Is this motor allowed to be used in Amsterdam?

Yes, all motors that are as clean as or cleaner than the standards set out in the European Recreational Craft Directive 2003/44/EC are allowed to be used. All motors made in Europe from 2007 onwards comply with the standards. Was your motor produced in countries outside of the European Union? Please ask the manufacturer if your motor complies with the standards. 

4. My boat has an electric motor. Is that allowed?

  • Yes, you are allowed to have a boat with an electric motor. If you have an electric motor you will be are charged the environmental harbour fee. This is a reduced annual fee. 

5. Where am I allowed to sail with my two-stroke outboard motor that fails to meet the standards set out in the European Recreational Craft Directive 2003/44/EC?

Two-stroke outboard motors that fail to meet the standards set out in the European Recreational Craft Directive 2003/44/EC are still permitted to be used in some areas. For example, on the IJ River and the main waterways. These are:

  • the Amstel route: from the Oosterdok via the Schippersgracht, the Nieuwe Herengracht and the Amstel to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel;
  • the Kostverlorenvaart route: from the Binnen-IJ via the Westerkanaal, the Singelgracht, the Kattensloot, the Kostverlorenvaart, the Schinkel and the Nieuwe Meer to the Ringvaart of the Haarlemmermeer polder. 

6. Does this rule also apply to motors of other vehicles such as mopeds, scooters and motorcycles?

The rule only applies to outboard motors that are used in recreational boating.

7. When will Waternet start imposing fines? How much is the fine?

The ban was imposed on 1st of January 2017. The amount of fine is 220 euros. 

8. Why did Waternet only impose a ban on two-stroke outboard motors for boats and not on other vehicles?

The municipality of Amsterdam wishes to improve the quality of air and health for all residents of Amsterdam. Therefore, we have banned all extremely polluting two-stroke outboard motors. 

9. Does the ban also apply to passenger ships and Search and Rescue Teams?

No, the ban only applies to recreational boating. Different rules apply for commercial shipping. Most of these boats do not use two-stroke outboard motors that were produced before 2007. 

10. My historical vessel has an original built-in two-stroke motor. Does the ban also apply to my boat?

No, the ban only applies to outboard motors. So, it does not apply to ships with a built-in motor.