USCG Certified Life Rafts

As all USCG COI vessel owners know by now Congress passed the 2010 USCG Appropriations Law which includes a provision to require all USCG COI vessels to install USCG certified Inflatable life rafts no later than January 2015. The current USCG orange life floats will no longer be accepted after that date. In June of 2011 NACO contacted every major passenger for-hire vessel association and requested we all work together to have the law changed and to be able to continue using the orange life floats. Our efforts have been fairly successful as we were able to have language placed in the House 2011 appropriations bill and had similar language being discussed for inclusion in the Senate version.

Due to bipartisan issues at the end of the Congressional session last year the Senate never took up the bill. We are working with the other associations and several key Senators to introduce our language to this year’s bill. All indications are we will be successful and hopefully the 2012 bill will include our suggestions. They are to have a study to determine if there is any real need for the 2010 requirement and to create a moratorium on the January 2015 implementation date until the study is completed and evaluated. Sources within the USCG support our efforts and we are very hopeful and encouraged we will have success. While we do not wish to tell you what to do with your own business, we do want you to be aware of the efforts underway which may help with any business decision you are considering. You will not be required to install an inflatable until January 2015 so you have time to consider.