By: MIASF Staff
Date posted: May 27, 2020 Wed
Advocacy has remained very active through the shutdown. MIASF received daily calls about expiring visas, extension of cruising licenses, and possibilities in the change in charter law, if only temporary. The solution was a meeting organized between Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the marine industry to get answers directly from the administrators of the regulations. Leadership of CBP from South Florida’s three ports were in attendance, along with various divisional heads from the ports. The industry representatives were made up of a small representation from agents, yacht managers, and the leadership from the trade organizations.
· Visas- the recommendation is to file as soon as possible. If you have filed and not received a determination you are still in good standing. Arrival on visa waiver is possible for a 30-day extension, but that is all the rule allows.
· Cruising license- little less adaptable on this. Borders are closed, and we are currently under restrictions. Vessels can move with permission to proceed. Each application is a case-by-case decision, based on the information given.
· Demised charter- rules have not changed.
Work continues on the federal level to try and get cruising licenses and demised charter regulations amended to encourage yachting throughout the U.S. to help with economic recovery. Shortly after presenting our concerns to our Congressmen, both Representative Ted Deutch and Senator Marco Rubio sent letters to committees of jurisdiction about visa extensions. The clarifying language found here was subsequently published. Discussion continues to make a more streamline process for NVRP applications.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has allowed its emergency rule on the number of passengers onboard a vessel to expire – it is now regulated local orders as we enter the phased return to operations. We continue to monitor State actions and the impact to the marine industry and any guidelines that will impact the industry or boat shows.
Locally, MIASF has met with Broward County staff to discuss the current available slip permit shortage in the south section of Broward County and is working with both our state and local lobbyists to amend the current plan to make more slips available.
Closer to home, MIASF public relations specialist, Kelly Skidmore, is continuing to follow her passion for politics and has thrown her hat in this year’s election, running to represent her hometown district, HD 81, in the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee.
Our borders remain closed by presidential order. Not all areas are accepting visiting yachts at this time and it is important to confirm your arrival well in advance and be aware of quarantine restrictions.
Yacht owners and guests do not enjoy the same exception offered to B1 visa crew members and are still subject to restricted travel from Schengen countries.
Here is the link to this season’s MSIB from Miami. It is important because it requires any vessel over 500gt to take action when the Captain of the Port (COP) moves the area to Situation Yankee. This action is not exclusive to the ports, but all the area within the COP’s authority. Vessels are required to leave but can request permission to stay by providing information of its safe harbor and providing no threat to navigable channels.