Longshore relief awaiting President Obama’s signature

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As part of the job creation initiative to stimulate the economy, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation insurance requirement for recreational marine service and repair businesses has finally been removed, according to a recent statement from the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 

Last week, as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (HR 1), the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate voted to implement a no cost modification to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.  The provision will ensure the stability and future of the recreational marine industry throughout the nation and particularly in the State of Florida, the association reported.

“This is a significant accomplishment for the recreational marine industry,” said MIASF president JJ McConnell. “It will result in valuable economic relief for our industry and MIASF is proud to have been in the forefront of the campaign to bring about this much needed change for our members.”

The economic impacts of this technical correction will be felt nationwide, according to MIASF.  Many marine industry jobs were being lost to international competition in the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada. This relief will save small businesses on average over $100K annually, which will allow the businesses to insure their workers under the state comp system and retain and create American jobs, the association reported.

Kristina Hebert, MIASF Past President and a third generation business operator of Ward’s Marine Electric said, “Marine business operators, especially small businesses like my family’s who have had to carry the burden of Longshore are very proud and appreciative of Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz and Congressman Klein’s efforts on our behalf.”

“MIASF has spearheaded this legislative effort for eight years but without the support of the industry’s congressional champions Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and Congressman Ron Klein (D-FL) we would not have this success,” it stated. “Their untiring dedication and passion for this industry are the key reasons for achieving these amazing results.”

MIASF suggested marine business operators contact their insurance agent immediately to determine how this legislative change affects their current policy. This exclusion does not apply if you do not carry state workers compensation insurance, MIASF added.

For more information, contact Kristina Hebert at 954-605-2138 at kristina@wardsmarine.com or Gordon Connell at gordon@miasf.org 954-494-7793.

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