Key Boating Industry Provisions Included in Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3409). NMMA played a critical role in shaping the legislation, which includes provisions that would improve the safety of the 142 million Americans who take to the water each year.

Specifically, the bill includes language that would mandate the wear of engine cut-off devices for boats under 26 feet while under way – an important safety measure that law enforcement, manufacturers, and the recreational boating community strongly support. This builds upon the important steps taken last year when Congress required manufacturers to install these devices in most boats under 26 feet, something many boat manufacturers have been doing for years.

Additionally, the bill would grant the Coast Guard “equivalency” authority, allowing the Coast Guard to streamline approval of the recreational boating industry construction standards and new technologies, while maintaining the highest level of safety.

Currently, the Coast Guard is the only branch of the armed services that has a lapse in appropriations during a government shutdown. This legislation would ensure that members of the Coast Guard will continue to receive a paycheck should another shutdown occur – a measure that NMMA has strongly supported.

NMMA will continue to monitor the progress of this bill in the Senate and work with Congress to ensure this bill gets to the president’s desk. For more information, please contact NMMA director of federal government relations, Clay Crabtree at ccrabtree@nmma.org.

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