American Boating Congress Update June 27, 2018
MIASF was pleased to participate in this year’s American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C., where a Visa and Cruising License Large Vessel panel was convened. Moderated by MIASF’s lobbyist, retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral Duncan Smith, the panel consisted of representatives of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Department of State, and Deb Radtke of American Yacht Agents. The Department of State committed to sending the correct process for applying for both C1/D and B1/B2 visas to MIASF.
An initiative spearheaded by USSA that would allow vessels over 300 gross tons to fly the American flag gained unexpected support just prior to the start of ABC, according to John Rayfield, staff director for the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Duncan Smith advised that an influential yacht owner contacted congressional leadership dismayed that he could not fly the flag and the issue, shifting the momentum in favor of USSA’s position. Supporters are cautiously optimistic that the measure to allow the large yachts to register as recreational vessels in the U.S. might pass.
We remain very appreciative of the collective efforts of members of the Florida Congressional Delegation who champion our legislative efforts, specifically, Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Congressman Ted Deutch, and Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson.