Last week, the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee unanimously approved the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S. 2297). The National Marine Manufacturers Association applauded the move that includes key provisions to improve safety for recreational boaters.
Companion legislation was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives in July and both bills include provisions that would mandate the wearing of engine cut-off devices for boats measuring less than 26 feet while under way. NMMA advocated for this move that builds on steps taken last year when Congress required manufacturers to install the devices on most boats less than 26 feet long.
The bill would also grant the Coast Guard “equivalency” authority that lets the agency streamline the approval of recreational boating industry construction standards and new technologies. The Coast Guard is currently the only branch of the armed services that had a lapse in appropriations during the last government shutdown, but the reauthorization would ensure that does not happen again.