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Inside the New U.S. Transportation Bill and How it Affects Boat Dealers

Wednesday, December 9, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: William Higgins
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Inside New U.S. Transportation Bill and How it Affects Boat Dealers

In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 4188) passed the House this month, and the Senate version, S. 1611, sponsored by Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, has been placed on the Senate calendar for an upcoming vote. The measure authorizes U.S. Coast Guard funding through 2017.

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas has, alongside the Angling & Boating Alliance (ABA) and National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), worked for nearly three years on updates and revisions to the Sportfish Trust Fund.

Leaders within both the recreational boating and fishing sectors believe these updates will strengthen what is already the world’s premier aquatic conversation and boating access program, while

The recently passed transportation bill includes language allotting up to $1.5 million for a survey to gauge of levels of recreational boating participation and related matters in the U.S. Other notable policies contained in the 1,300­-page bill include:

      New language regarding the $1.2 million that funds the Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council and the four fisheries commissions but with no substantive policy or funding change from present law.

      Provisions regarding the distribution of funds to Boating Infrastructure Grants (BIG) and Clean Vessel Act (CVA) grants in an effort to find administrative fund efficiencies and to provide states with more flexibility in how they use these funds.

      Alters the $3 million Multi­State Conservation Grant Program from an off­-the-­top deduction and includes it in the SFR distribution.

      Provides a new and different way to arrive at the Coast Guard administrative fees as a hard cost total amount off the top.

      Of the total amount, $2.1 is for the manufacturer's compliance program (aka Chapter 43), and the remainder ($4.3 million in FY16) for administering the state grant program (currently done with the 2 percent of the RBS distribution, which is about $2 million) and for conducting the Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety program.

 

(Information provided, in part, by the National Marine Manufacturers Association)