NMMA: Coast Guard drops expanded hull ID numbers

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At a recent National Boating Safety Advisory Council meeting, the Coast Guard formally announced that it is withdrawing any action on its proposed expanded 17-digit hull identification number, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported.

The Coast Guard's proposal would have extended the existing HIN number to add additional digits on all recreational boats and created significant, unnecessary expense for boat manufacturers, dealers and lenders, according to the NMMA.

The NMMA had previously challenged the Coast Guard's proposal, filing comments outlining the detriment to the recreational boating industry because of costs involved in overhauling computer systems to adapt to the new HIN and the lack of overall benefits of an extended HIN.

The NMMA also worked closely with the Coast Guard and other groups to craft an alternative that would provide necessary information for field investigators. The result was a partnership with the National Insurance Crime Bureau to have boatbuilders begin providing information to the bureau, similar to what is done for autos, the association said.

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