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European regs will affect U.S. boatbuilders

The boating industry will likely need to be compliant with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation because customers that visit the EU are protected by the regulation.

When your business has any communications or transactions with customers via phone, email, social media or website, it is likely that your business stores their personal information/data in some way, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association; the storage of personal information is what GDPR was designed to protect.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation represents the most significant change in data protection law since the inception of the Internet, taking into account how information is collected and stored differently since the rise of the digital economy, the NMMA said.

The new regulation rendered the previous legislation, the Data Protection Directive of 1995, obsolete. GDPR was passed in 2016, with enforcement beginning last month.

The GDPR’s scope is significant as it covers companies and organizations that utilize or store personal information of European citizens globally, natural persons in the EU or companies operating in the EU; therefore, its remit includes most organizations anywhere in the world.

A company is subject to GDPR compliance if:

  • It has a presence in any European Union member country. Presence can be as simple as having a website that can be viewed in that country.
  • It has customers or clients based in any member country of the EU. Customers or clients are people that are buying something from you or are interested in buying a product or service.
  • It works with suppliers based in any member state of the EU. Any parts, services or contractors that are based in Europe count.
  • It conducts marketing efforts in any member state of the EU. Emails, display ads or promotions that are delivered to EU citizens can be considered as “marketing efforts.”
  • It has employees, investors, or customers who have citizenship (even dual citizenship) of any member state of the EU. The US is a nation of diversity with residents and citizens from all over the globe. It’s estimated that anywhere between 1 and 8 million Americans have dual citizenship.

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