A proposed Directive has been published to help improve the safety of marine equipment, in particular: - Life saving appliances; - Marine pollution equipment; - Fire protection equipment; - Navigation equipment; - Radio-communication equipment. Although international testing standards exist, there are different levels of national standards implementing these; this means that too many discretionary margins are left to certification authorities, who also have widely differing levels of qualifications and experience. Rules are needed to eliminate this lack of harmonization which results in differing safety levels for products and a reluctance by some Member States to accept equipment on board ships flying their flag which has been approved by another Member State. The proposed Directive is therefore designed to lay down a legal framework to enhance safety performance of equipment through a uniform and compulsory application of international testing standards. This will eliminate all the discretionary elements currently left to the national administrations by setting out clearly which tests alone may be used among those referred to in the international instruments. Member States will also have to designate notified bodies entitled to perform conformity assessment procedures and ensure that such bodies are efficient and professionally competent to conduct their tasks. Equipment covered by the Directive will normally have to bear a mark indicating that it reaches standards in compliance with the provisions of the Directive. Member States will have to allow equipment bearing this mark to move freely on their territory, to be placed on the market or on board and to be used in accordance with its intended purpose without further evaluation or technical requirements.