Legislative Update - June 2019

In the continuing effort to permit U.S. residents to purchase foreign flag vessels while in U.S. waters, IYBA thanks Rep. Lois Frankel (D.Fl) and Rep. Ted Yoho (R.Fl) for their re-introduction of the “Deferred Importation” initiative in H.R 2269. Our previous bills before congress sun-downed with the end of the 115th Congress, and the reintroduction of this legislation is the continued effort to reach our goal in the 116th Congress. H.R. 2269, simply stated, allows vessels to be offered for sale to U.S. residents while in U.S waters, and have the duty collected at the time of sale instead of when the boat enters U.S. waters. (use as pull quote)

In addition to the H.R 2269 “Deferred Importation” initiative that has been championed by Rep. Frankel and Rep. Yoho, Rep. Brian Mast (R.Fl) is reworking the language for a companion bill that would eliminate the collection of duty on used vessels altogether. In Rep. Mast’s research of the duty collection process, CBP informed his office that the amount of duty collected compared to the amount spent to enforce the action was out of balance and it should be considered that the duty be eliminated on preowned vessels.

In the third prong of the offensive regarding this issue, IYBA responded to an RFI (request for information) issued by the Trump administration to identify barriers to commerce in the marine industry. Jennifer Diaz responded with an eloquent description of what the barrier was, how it effected the yachting industry and how it could be remedied, citing the two bills that were actively in Congress at the time. The OMB (Office of Management & Budget) invited Paul Flannery, Staley Weidman and Omar Franco of Becker Law to present the argument to the Station Chief and a panel of interested parties in Washington D.C. prior to the Government shutdown earlier this year. As a result of that meeting, OMB requested that IYBA craft the language to be included in a Bill for presentation to President Trump, outlining changes that will positively affect the marine industry as a whole. Jennifer Diaz again showed her prowess with excellent language to be included in the Bill. Many thanks to Omar Franco and Jennifer Diaz for continuing to shepherd this process and guiding us toward our goal.

At this writing, IYBA is enroute to the American Boating Congress in Washington, in conjunction with NMMA and several other marine associations, to knock on doors on Capitol Hill to further our agenda. Despite the fact that this agenda is working an administrative angle as well as the legislative process, it is important to keep all the fires stoked. Administrative action through Executive Order are helpful, but nothing surpasses the permanency of Legislative Action.