USDOC, International Trade Administration

 SOURCE:       USDOC, International Trade Administration
 PROGRAM:     Market Research Reports
 UPDATE:      Monthly
 ID NUMBER:   IT MARKET 111100912
 END YEAR:    1993
 UPDATED:     05/14/93
 | 9303
 | CC421
 | ISA
 | ISA9303
 | PLB
 | EC
 | EEC
 This article is derived from a report titled: "The Pleasure Boating
 Equipment & Supplies Market in the Netherlands", dated March 1993, prepared
 by Ben Kennedy, American Embassy - The Hague.  This article consists of 12
 pages and contains the following subtopics:
 Although OEM marine supply sales are facing stiff head winds  in some
 international markets, the aftermarket for pleasure boating equipment and
 supplies in the Netherlands is continually expanding with every new boat
 sold.  The economically less sensitive aftermarket is largely responsible
 for the 6 percent annual growth over the next three years which the Dutch
 pleasure boating equipment and supplies market is expected to enjoy.  This,
 together with the large rise in recent years in the number of pleasure boats
 in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe, has created a major market for a
 wide array of marine products used by boat builders, as well as for those
 sold to the marine aftermarket.
 Dutch spending on pleasure boating equipment and supplies amounted to $168
 million in 1992.  (A minor share of these products were subsequently
 reexported after having been fitted on new boats.)  The Netherlands has
 numerous reputable boat builders of all sizes.  The West European market in
 this sector is about $1.6 billion, roughly ten times the size of the Dutch
 market.  The total outlay in 1992 on all forms of watersports in the
 Netherlands amounted to $1.2 billion.  (This not only includes equipment but
 also spending in new boats, mooring fees,, boat rentals, sports fishing,
 etc.).  Supplies for polyester boats, especially sail boats, are popular,
 but the majority of Dutch boats, especially motor boats, are of the
 displacement type, made of steel and diesel powered.  These family boats are
 typically used for inland water boating and average 26 feet to 36 feet in
 In the Netherlands there are some 410,000 boats presently in use, including
 110,000 sail boats, 300,000 motor boats and other types of vessels, and
 about 250,000 surf boards.  For a number of years now the dollar/guilder
 exchange rate has been favorable for U.S. exports and many American
 companies are entering the European market through the Netherlands.  Holland
 is often referred to as the "Gateway to Europe."
 A wide variety of recreational boating equipment and supplies are selling
 well, especially aftermarket products.  Marine electronics are in great
 demand.  There is interest in global positioning systems, system C marine
 communications, direct dialing communication systems, fluxgate compasses,
 electronic charting products, versatile screen displays and interfacing.
 Other types of less sophisticated basic boat parts, equipment, and supplies
 are also enjoying good sales.
 Waterways and lakes have largely shaped the Netherlands into what it is
 today.  Holland has many rivers, small lakes, canals, as well as North Sea
 coastal waters.  Twelve mph speed limits have been introduced in many of
 these inland areas to prevent shoreline erosion by excessive waves, as well
 as to increase the safety of slower forms of watersports.  Extensive
 commercial barge traffic found in many parts of the Dutch inland waterway
 system is given the right of way.
 The most important recreational marine equipment trade show in Europe, the
 Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS), is held annually in November at the RAI
 Exhibition Center in Amsterdam.  This event has grown remarkably to achieve
 the number one position over similar shows in Europe within the first three
 years of its 5 year existance.
                   (GUILDERS MILLIONS)
                                          (PERCENT GAIN)
                                  Est.    Est. Avg. Annual Real
                   1991   1992    1993    Growth - Next 3 Years
 Import Market     313    342     369      8%
 Local Production   93     97     105      4%
 Exports           132    136     147      5%
 Total Market      274    303     327      6%
 Imports from U.S.  41     47      51      8%
                   (US DOLS MILLIONS)
                                          (PERCENT GAIN)
                                  Est.    Est. Avg. Annual Real
                   1991   1992    1993    Growth - Next 3 Years
 Import Market     174    190     205      8%
 Local Production   52     54      58      4%
 Exports            74     76      82      5%
 Total Market      151    168     181      6%
 Imports from U.S.  23     26      28      8%
 Exchange Rate:    one dollar equals one guilder eighty
 Future Inflation Rate Assumed for this Calculation: 0%
 1992 Import Market Share (Percent for USA and Major Competitors):
 France 25%  U.K.  20%  USA 15%  Scandinavia 15%  Far East 10%
 Receptivity Score: Extremely receptive
 Waterways and lakes, which have largely shaped the Netherlands into what it
 is today, have had an important impact on the economy, especially the
 seagoing and barge traffic, but the watersports area as well.  Attracting
 watersports tourism to the country creates a large source of revenue.  While
 the European leasure boating supplies market is likely to see a temporary
 leveling off of sales following a slowdown in the major European economies,
 Holland's boating supplies market still offers opportunities for U.S.
 boating equipment and supply firms looking to start or expand their export
 activities to the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe.
 While there are numerous reasons why the Dutch and the European pleasure
 boating equipment market offer opportunities for U.S. firms, four come
 immediately to mind:  1) the market is large; 2) transportation and
 communication systems in Europe are good which makes doing business in
 Europe relatively easy; 3) exchange rates are favorable; 4) in the long run
 a significant watersports industry will emerge in Eastern Europe, which will
 be supplied largely by Western European companies.
 The Dutch boating equipment and supplies market consists of both domestic
 and, because the Dutch are important boat exporters, indirect export
 outlets.  Products are fitted to boats which are sold in the Netherlands or
 exported.  These products also reach clients through the marine aftermarket.
 Similarly, Dutch importers sell to distributors elsewhere in Europe and to
 foreign boat builders.  According to ICOMIA (International Council of Marine
 Industries Associations), the 1992 Dutch market for marine equipment and
 supplies was $168 million, or about one tenth of all of West European
 boating equipment and supply sales which were estimated to be $1.6 billion
 for the same year.
 During the 1980's, there was a surge in the number of pleasure crafts sold
 in the Netherlands.  This trend has boosted the demand for quality
 maintenance services and the latest equipment and parts to increase comfort
 and safety on board in a climate which is often gray, damp, windy and cool.
 The importance to the Dutch economy of the watersports and sportsfishing
 industries is illustrated by the following table which shows 1992 Dutch
 spending in millions of dollars:
 Boating equipment and supplies           168
 Purchase of pleasure vessels             104
 Mooring costs                             76
 Miscellaneous watersports spending       370
 Watersports day trips by the Dutch        83
 Watersports day trips by foreigners       94
 Boating holidays by the Dutch             72
 Boating holidays by foreigners            49
 Watersports training                      10
 Spending on sportsfishing                174
 Total 1992 watersports spending       $1,2 billion
 It is estimated that there are 410,000 boats in the Netherlands, including
 110,000 sail boats and 300,000 motor boats and other types of vessels.
 While steel boats are still prominent, there is a growing trend towards
 fiberglass boats.
 Since inland waterways are numerous but not large, the majority of all boats
 are about 32 feet to 36 feet in length.  Roughly half of all Dutch boats are
 moored in about 1,000 marinas.  The rest are tied up along shorelines,
 although this custom is gradually being discontinued by local
 municipalities.  During the past five years some 250 new marinas have been
 built.  Marina occupancy is about 90 percent.  Expansion plans call for
 another 30,000 marina moorings by the year 2,010.  About half of all marinas
 are commercially operated, 35 percent are run by associations, and the
 remaining 15 percent by municipalities and other groups.  The average annual
 mooring fee for a 32 foot boat is about $1,000.
 The boat charter business is growing in importance.  Some 250 firms rent a
 total of about 3,000 motor and sailing vessels.  Many charter companies are
 small with no more than 5 to 25 boats.  Seventy percent of their business
 comes from Germany, 10 percent from other nationals, and 20 percent from the
 Dutch.  Total annual rental turnover is estimated at $20 million.
 Surveys conducted during the Amsterdam METS marine equipment trade shows
 have indicated a number of best sales prospects as shown below:
 Boat winter covers               Navigation equipment
 Boat cradles                     Inflatables, canoes,
 220 volt Power systems           Ropes, masts, sails
 Anti theft systems               Boat safety products
 Fiberglass repair kits           Mooring assists
 Restoration products             Marine electronics
 Anchors, propellers              Environmental products
 Computer systems                 Fittings and furniture
 Galley supplies                  Communication equipment
 Marina equipment
 The marine electronics best prospects penetrate every aspect of a modern
 vessel including the functions of controlling, measuring, guarding,
 communicating, navigating, timing, signalling, searching, warning and
 Boaters are also interested in global positioning systems; system C marine
 communications; direct dialling automatic communication systems; fluxgate
 compasses; electronic charting; versatile screen displays and interfacing.
 Less sophisticated systems, equipment, and accessories also offer excellent
 opportunities.  These products include:  super light anchors and winches,
 new material clothing and sailcloth, hull plastics, synthetic fiber ropes,
 titanium fittings, and hundreds of products which focus on easy maintenance
 and comfort on board.
 One of the reasons why the Dutch marine equipment trade show, METS, is so
 successful is because it is held in a country which does not have a strong
 indigenous marine equipment and supplies industry.  By comparison, the U.K.,
 France, Scandinavia and to a lesser degree Germany -- countries where the
 marine industry is prominent -- have or had marine equipment and supplies
 trade shows.  But because Dutch domestic production in this sector is not
 dominating, the European boat making and marine products industry is
 increasingly choosing to exhibit at and visit the Dutch METS trade show,
 making it the most important show of its kind in Europe.
 The import outlook for most marine products is good in the Netherlands.
 There has been a relatively strong surge in American interest in the Dutch
 and European market for both boats and boating equipment and supplies.  The
 overall U.S. share of the market, which used to be insignificant, has become
 stronger.  This trend has been fueled by the 1992 European unification
 process and is expected to continue for some time to come.  The absence of a
 strong Dutch marine parts and accessories industry, in combination with a
 healthy market and the renowned Dutch export mentality, makes the
 Netherlands an attractive country for American firms to establish a foothold
 in the European market.
 On January 1, 1993, the Single European Market came into being.  Most
 remaining internal trade barriers, whether technical or nontechnical, will
 be gradually eliminated.  This will also affect boat builders and later,
 manufacturers of marine equipment and supplies.  Efforts are being made to
 speed up the process of developing an EC directive on recreational craft for
 free trade of boats, equipment and supplies across national borders in
 Europe and around the world.  This will enable buyers to shop around in
 Europe and take advantage of cross-border shopping.  Many European firms are
 not experienced in dealing in such a large scale economy (the EC has a
 population of 325 million) which can be an advantage for American firms
 which are accustomed to a continent-size home market.
 EC legislation on product liability applies in all EC countries with safety
 and seaworthiness as the guiding principles.  Certification of products can
 be obtained in two ways: 1) On all end products, or 2) through company
 certification.  A number of companies are helping firms obtain this
 certification by advising them on how to set up their quality control
 systems.  With regard to standards, each country has had its own over the
 years.  ICOMIA is leading the search for a solution that would bring about
 unified worldwide standards.  The National Marine Manufacturers Association
 (NMMA) in the U.S. is an active participant in this process.
 When looking for foreign distributors, reputable Dutch importers warn
 against fly-by-night firms in the watersports industry.  American exporters
 are urged to seek security from new clients.  A 90-day or 120-day Letter of
 Credit is recommended as is a good shipping agent who can work out
 considerable savings on shipping costs.  It is also noteworthy that
 distributors tend to place their annual orders late in the season in January
 and February when the weather is often foul.  At a time when consumers are
 hardly thinking of watersports, the dealers are planning ahead.
 The number of boats in use in Europe is shown in the following 1991
 breakdown.  When compared with U.S. statistics, the European market appears
 to offer great promise for increased boat and boating equipment sales.
 Country           (times 1,000)          Boats
                   sail   motor &         per          Population
                   boats  other   total   1,000        millions
 Germany (former)  146    385     531       9          61
 Italy              70    325     395       7          58
 UK                120    398     518       9          57
 France            230    490     720      13          56
 Netherlands       110    300     410      27          15
 Denmark            30     13      43       9           5
 Norway             50    750     800     200           4
 Sweden            133  1,005    1,138    142           8
 Finland            18    590     608     121           5
 Switzerland        42     58     100      17           6
 Europe total      949   4,414    5,263     19    276
 USA total       1,260  14,313   15,573     60    248
 The Dutch government has taken or is proposing a number of measures which
 are likely to affect Dutch watersports.  For example, it has introduced a
 speed limit for pleasure vessels on many inland waterways of 12 mph to
 protect the shorelines from eroding and to provide greater safety to the
 slower forms of watersports.  Larger bodies of water and coastal waters will
 remain unaffected, and selected areas have been approved for fast boating
 and water skiing.
 Boaters will also be hard hit by proposed heavy boating taxes.  Looking for
 new sources of revenue, the Dutch government appears bent on enforcing boat
 registration, which will be followed by the introduction of a new boat
 owners tax which will mean, on average, a $300 levy for a 32 foot boat.
 In addition, the government has announced it will increase the price of
 recreational diesel fuel by 83 percent to $0.70 per liter next year.  These
 tax measures will hurt the less affluent and retirees the hardest, who form
 a large core of Dutch boaters, and may over time have a negative effect on
 boating equipment and supplies sales in an otherwise healthy industry.  In
 the meantime, thousands of boaters are joining forces with the watersports
 associations in protest against the proposed tax measures.
 As changes take place in the expanding European marine market, several large
 European marine products distributors have formed a new group, named MEDIA,
 to cooperate in the distribution of marine accessories.  The fact that
 Europe is one of the largest markets in the world, but hampered by language
 problems, prompted the participants to create a network of international
 distributors.  The Dutch partner in MEDIA, Boomsma B.V., is listed in this
 analysis under Key Importers.
 Shipping to individual importers in different countries has been the
 custom.  With the expanding European Market and demand to group larger
 shipments, the trend is now more toward dealing with multi-country
 distributors from central European warehousing.
 Following is a listing of Watersports Associations, Watersports Publications
 and Key Importers:
                           Watersports Associations
 HISWA ASSOCIATION (Association to promote the interests of all types of
 companies engaged in the watersports industry)
 Jan Nieuwenhuizenplein 12
 1135 WV Edam, Netherlands
 Contact: Mr. A. Vink, General Secretary
 Fax: 31-2993-71528
 Tel: 31-2993-72620
 the interests of all aspects of watersports and water recreation)
 Runnenburg 12
 3980 CB Bunnik, Netherlands
 Contact: Mr. E. van Lagerweij, Management
 Fax: 31-3405-64783
 Tel: 31-3405-70524
 interests of recreational sailors)
 Gerhard Voethstraat 5
 6824 AR Arnhem, Netherlands
 Tel: 31-85-231435
 interests of motorboat owners)
 Zoomstraat 7
 3431 HK Nieuwegein, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-3402-53834
 Tel: 31-3402-39935
                           Watersports Publications
 WATERSPORT AKTUEEL (circulation 20,000)
 Weekly newspaper for both consumers and businesses in watersports, published
 in cooperation with the HISWA boating association by:
 Kluwer Technische Tijdschriften
 POBox 23
 7400 GA Deventer, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-5700-43015
 Tel: 31-5700-48777
 WATERKAMPIOEN (circulation 51,000)
 Consumer oriented bi-weekly for all watersports, published by:
 ANWB Tourism Association
 Wassenaarseweg 220
 2596 EC The Hague, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-70-3242509
 Tel: 31-70-3147247
 WATERSPORT (circulation 55,000)
 (Consumer oriented monthly for all watersports, published for the KNWV
 watersports association by:
 Hollandia B.V. Watersports Press
 POBox 70
 3740 AB Baarn, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-2154-11431
 Tel: 31-2154-18941
 MOTORBOOT (circulation 17,000)
 Consumer oriented monthly for motorboat owners
 Goudsesingel 86
 3011 KD Rotterdam, Netherlands
 Tel: 31-10-4125708
 Extensive marine address book and mailing label service, published annually
 for HISWA members and for sale by:
 Hollandia Watersports Press
 POBox 70
 3740 AB Baarn, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-2154-11431
 Tel: 31-2154-18941
 WEEKBLAD SCHUTTEVAER (circulation 12,000)
 Semiprofessional weekly covering extensive topics on commercial and tourism
 marine topics, published by:
 Uitgeverij Kluwer
 POBox 23
 7400 GA Deventer, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-5700-11365
 Tel: 31-5700-48777
 VAARVAK (circulation 4,000)
 Business monthly for all types of firms engaged in watersports, published by:
 Mervac Maritiem
 Kogendijk 26
 1862 XD Bergen, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-2208-94755
 Tel: 31-2208-97909
                                 Key Importers
 Acqua Realty Europe B.V.
 POBox 466
 8243 PK Lelystad, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-3200-61354
 Tel: 31-3200-60237
 Contact: Mr. J. Hobbs, Director
 Allpa B.V.
 POBox 31005
 6503 CA Nijmegen, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-80-560688
 Tel: 31-80-566666
 Contact: Mr. P. Rutgers, Director
 Merwedeweg 3c
 3621 LP Breukelen, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-3462-65475
 Tel: 31-3462-65544
 Contact: Mr. R. Jeltes, Director
 Boomsma's Handelmaatschappij B.V.
 Industrie Terrein De Steiger 74
 1351 AE Almere, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-3240-11519
 Tel: 31-3240-11524
 Contact: Mr. P. Boomsma, Director
 Borsumij Sport B.V.
 Postbus 96
 4870 AB Etten-Leur, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-1608-37718
 Tel: 31-1608-39911
 Contact: Mr. G. van der Graaf, Director
 Ben van Haarlem B.V.
 POBox 448
 3190 AJ Hoogvliet, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-10-4385505
 Tel: 31-10-4382600
 Contact: Mr. B. van Haarlem, Director
 Kubus B.V.
 Amsterdamsestraatweg 19
 1411 AW Naarden, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-2159-49782
 Tel: 31-2159-48338
 Contact: Mr. R. Kurpershoek, Director
 Lankhorst/Taselaar B.V.
 POBox 502
 8200 AM Lelystad, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-3200-31912
 Tel: 31-3200-74611
 Contact: Mr. J. de Rapper, Director
 Mastervolt Holland
 Lemelerbergweg 23
 1101 AJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-20-6966181
 Tel: 31-20-6966789
 Contact: Mr. T. van der Meij
 Nebim Handelmaatschappij B.V.
 POBox 195
 3641 AD Mijdrecht, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-2979-87364
 Tel: 31-2979-80111
 Contact: Mr. H. van Barneveld, Director
 Neptunus Watersport
 Boeierspad 6
 1081 KE Amsterdam, Netherlands
 Tel: 31-20-44519
 Contact: Mr. C. Weber, Director
 Vetus den Ouden N.V.
 Fokkerstraat 57
 3125 BD Schiedam, Netherlands
 Fax: 31-10-4621286
 Tel: 31-10-4377700
 Contact: Mr. T. Baas, Deputy Director
 The Marine Equipment Trade Show, METS, is THE leading, trade-only show of
 its kind in Europe.  It is held at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition Center in
 the Netherlands.  METS '93 is scheduled for November 16-18, 1993.
 Inaugurated in 1988, the annual METS show will be held for the sixth time
 this year, during which time it has grown spectacularly to become the number
 one trade-only show in Europe for recreational marine equipment and
 supplies.  METS does not exhibit boats, but it does feature all conceivable
 types of recreational and small commercial boat parts, accessories, supplies
 and services from OEM to the aftermarket.
 METS '92 attracted large national pavilions from the U.S., the U.K.,
 Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Italy and France, Canada, Australia and Taiwan.
 France discontinued its own SIPEN show in favor of METS.  Starting in 1991,
 METS shows have been organized under the auspices of ICOMIA.  Formerly this
 privilege was reserved for the EMTEC show in Hamburg.
 At METS '92, covering 170,000 square feet, 540 companies from 19 countries
 presented the latest marine products.  72 Percent of the exhibitors were
 international.  The event attracted over 6,500 visitors, 23 percent of whom
 were foreign, from 45 countries.  Most came from the U.K., Scandinavia,
 Germany, Belgium, the U.S. and France.  Fifty-four percent of the visitors
 held an executive position.  Attendees consisted of shipbuilders (28
 percent), marine manufacturers (22 percent), dealers (14 percent), importers
 (13 percent), marine designers (5 percent), marine retailers (5 percent) and
 others (13 percent).  METS is also unique in that only uniform booths are
 obtainable, thereby presenting all exhibitors equally and substantially
 reducing booth construction costs.
 The American pavilion, organized by the National Marine Manufacturers
 Association (NMMA) which was 44 percent larger than the American pavilion at
 the previous METS show, housed 45 American companies, with 6 U.S. firms
 exhibiting individually.  After the show, an NMMA spokesman stated that
 "METS is good business for the NMMA and all of the exhibitors represented in
 the USA Pavilion.  The show provides a great concentration of industry
 buyers, both wholesale and retail.  METS has become the primary market place
 for recreational marine equipment for all of Europe."
 This year's 1993 METS is expanding into a new area to include marina
 equipment, materials, systems and services.  It promises to be bigger and to
 attract an even larger percentage of foreign visitors as the event continues
 to become increasingly international.  The US and Foreign Commercial Service
 (US&FCS) of the American Embassy in the Netherlands is proposing to
 cooperate with the NMMA at METS '93 to further serve the American exhibitors.
                     Other Marine Shows in The Netherlands
 HISWA (indoor): A consumer show which has been rescheduled to be held each
 year in December in the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition Center, featuring small
 boats, inflatables, clothing, aftermarket products accessories and
 increasingly, Dutch and international watersports tourism.
 NATTE HISWA (in-water): A consumer boat show, also organized by the RAI,
 held annually in September in an attractive Amsterdam dock area, which is
 gaining in importance as an international boat show.
                        The NMMA IMTEC Show in Chicago
 Once again US&FCS of the American Embassy in the Netherlands will organize a
 Dutch delegation to visit IMTEC in Chicago.  Between 50-75 Dutch visitors
 are expected to travel to IMTEC '93 in a group as well as individually.
 This opportunity for U.S. exhibitors to meet Dutch foreign buyers is
 initiated by the US&FCS in cooperation with the NMMA, the Dutch Kluwer
 publisher of Watersport Aktueel, a leading watersports magazine, the HISWA
 association and the Dutch RAI Exhibition Center, the organizer of the METS
 Trade show in Amsterdam.
 FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact the American Embassy, U.S. Foreign
 Commercial Service, Lange Voorhout 102, 2514 EJ The Hague, Netherlands, fax:
 31-70-3632985, tel: 31-70-3109209

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