House Approves Two-Year U.S. Coast Guard Bill

NACO'S Legislative Work Brings About Positive Results  
The major push for NACO in this bill was to exempt COI Passenger carrying vessels from having to replace their current life rafts with inflatables. These inflatable life rafts carry a hefty price tag along with expensive inspections from private companies.

This bill initially passed the House in November 2011. The Senate adopted a revised version of the House measure in September and yesterday’s measure, which passed by voice vote, reflects a resolution of the differences between the House- and Senate-passed bills. The measure now goes back to the Senate.
 
NACO and other industry groups worked together and although this bill does not give an exemption, if approved and signed by the President, the bill requires a detailed report to congress on the need for this action, that NACO requested. We are hopeful the study will provide evidence supporting our position of an unneeded requirement that would cost our industry excessive money to implement and maintain. Depending on the details of the report it could open the door to the possibility of that portion being rescinded.
 
Below is the section of the bill that addresses our issue.

SEC. 303. SURVIVAL CRAFT.
 
Section 3104 of title 46, United States Code, is amended--
 
(1) in subsection (b) by striking `January 1, 2015' and inserting `the date that is 30 months after the date on which the report described in subsection (c) is submitted'; and
 
(2) by adding at the end the following:
 
(c) Report- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Commandant of the Coast Guard shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the carriage of survival craft that ensures no part of an individual is immersed in water, which shall include--
 
(1) the number of casualties, by vessel type and area of operation, as the result of immersion in water reported to the Coast Guard for each of fiscal years 1991 through 2011;
 
(2) the effect the carriage of such survival craft has on--
 
(A) vessel safety, including stability and safe navigation; and
 
(B) survivability of individuals, including persons with disabilities, children, and the elderly;
 
(3) the efficacy of alternative safety systems, devices, or measures;
 
(4) the cost and cost effectiveness of requiring the carriage of such survival craft on vessels; and
 
(5) the number of small businesses and nonprofit entities that would be affected by requiring the carriage of such survival craft on vessels.'.