Update on Federal Government Relations Efforts February 28, 2018
Early in February, MIASF met with Department of State Visa Services and Customs and Border Protection representatives regarding crew visa issues and provided detailed examples of yacht crew denials at various consulate offices. We continue working closely with Congressman Ted Deutch’s office, which sent a letter requesting resolution of the visa issue to the Secretary of State, and we are collaborating with NMMA staff on plans for a yacht crew visa panel discussion at the American Boating Congress in May.
We recently met with key House and Senate congressional offices on the yacht crew visa and recreational vessel repair workers’ compensation issues and followed up with the House Education and Workforce Committee staff to petition the Department of Labor for a rule to administratively make the necessary workers’ compensation coverage changes.
We engaged the small shipyard coalition regarding its efforts to advocate for the continuation of funding the Maritime Administration’s small shipyard grant program, and to include recreational yards in that program. FY18 and FY19 appropriations bills are pending to continue the program.
Legislative proposals that are pending before the current Congress include the deferral of the payment of duty on yachts (H.R. 2369 by Frankel and H.R. 3662 by Mast). We continue to monitor marine recreational boating regulatory issues, such as employment statistics, budget and tax proposals affecting recreational boating, and any Trump Administration actions that may affect the recreational boating industry.