NMMA slams bill to criminalize boat defects

CHICAGO – The National Marine Manufacturers Association issued an Action Alert Tuesday calling on members to contact Congress and urge opposition to a bill that would impose penalties on marine executives that willfully build or sell defective boats or accessories.

The Senate version of H.R. 2443, Coast Guard Authorization, includes an addition to Section 310 of the bill that would impose up to one year in jail on directors, officers, and executive employees that “knowingly and willfully manufacture or offer for sale any recreational vessel that contains a defect of the vessel, equipment, or component,” according to NMMA.

“This addition is unnecessary, vague, and ill-conceived, and NMMA respectfully requests that it not be included in the final version of the Coast Guard bill,” NMMA said in the Action Alert.

The House and Senate have passed their own dissimilar versions of H.R. 2443, and are now working to reconcile these differences in conference to present the President with a bill for his signature into law. NMMA asked members to contact the bill’s conferees by fax or e-mail and urge them to strike the amended language.

Conferees and their addresses as well as a form letter are available at NMMA’s B.O.A.T. Web site www.nmma.org/boat/.

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