NMMA certification to become mandatory for members

CHICAGO, Ill. – Beginning with the 2007 model year, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) board of directors is requiring all NMMA member boat manufacturers to have their boats NMMA Certified to ABYC standards, NMMA reported in a statement today.

The requirement is being made “to demonstrate its commitment to boating safety and a quality consumer experience,” according to NMMA.

The NMMA Certification program will also add a requirement that participants have a documented customer satisfaction measurement program instituted at their company in order to be certified.

The association said it is waiting until the 2007 model year to implement the requirement to allow boat manufacturers time to learn about the benefits of the NMMA Certification program, to give them time to become certified, and to give NMMA time to launch a communications program to raise the level of awareness of NMMA Certified at the manufacturer and consumer level.

“We are confident that when boat manufacturers understand the significant benefits of being NMMA Certified, and the reasonable costs involved, they will be enthusiastic about getting their boats NMMA Certified to ABYC standards,” said NMMA president Thom Dammrich.

There are currently 140 boat manufacturers participating in the NMMA Certified program, representing 75 percent of all boats produced in the U.S. each year. The goal of the NMMA board, the American Boat & Yacht Council and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) is that all boat manufacturers be NMMA certified.

“Data from the USCG indicates that non-certified boats are 15 times more likely to be recalled by the USCG for safety reasons than NMMA Certified boats, and statistically, certified boats are involved in fewer accidents,” said NMMA Vice President of Engineering Standards Thomas Marhevko.

Aside from promoting safety and a quality customer experience, the NMMA Certified program protects participants from litigation (in some cases), and helps many participants to receive product liability insurance discounts for their involvement, according to NMMA.

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