WHAT NACO HAS DONE FOR YOU
- Vessel General Permit Exemption for Uninspected Charter Boats
We succeeded in getting all 6-pack and less charter boats exempted from the Vessel General Permit (VGP), which EPA and the USCG will be requiring for all boats starting in 2013. This would have required you to keep another permit on your boat and quarterly inspections.
- TWIC Changes
We worked diligently to save you the $130 TWIC fee and the requirement to have them. The USCG announced they would allow mariners without a valid TWIC who operate on board vessels that do not have a security plan to acquire and renew a MMC. These vessels include:
- Uninspected passenger vessels of less than 100 GRT
- Vessels inspected under subchapter T of Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations, except those on international voyages
This will save you money and time!
- Improved Turnaround Time for License Renewal
We worked with USCG Headquarters to improve the turnaround time for renewing your captain’s license, if you had no medical issues. Previously it was taking up to 6 months to get your license; we have reports from members where it has only taken 10 days now!
- National Ocean Policy
We are currently working on The National Ocean Policy (Presidential order) to inform Congress of the ways it will negatively impact our industry and requesting them to hold oversight hearings
- Coast Guard Inspection Fee Cap
NACO took the lead for the maritime industry and successfully lobbied to obtain a cap on Coast Guard inspection user fees. This win saved the charter boat industry an estimated $23 million over ten years.
- EPIRB Exemption
NACO successfully lobbied the U.S. Coast Guard to withdraw the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) requirement for un-inspected vessels. The EPIRB rule would have cost charter boat operators between $1,350 and $1,500 to equip each of their vessels.
- Subchapter T Exemption
NACO succeeded in exempting charter boat operators who carry more than six passengers from certain provisions of the Subchapter T regulation, which would have imposed a host of costly new equipment rules on small inspected vessels, including inappropriate inflatable survival crafts, time consuming crew and passenger lists and costly annual dry docking. It is estimated that NACO's success saved charter boat operators over $3,000 per vessel.
- NACO Partners with U.S. Coast Guard
NACO and the U.S. Coast Guard signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in November of 2002 setting terms by which the two organizations will cooperate to ensure the security of waters and ports of the United States. This MOA is based on NACO's experience and understanding of the maritime domain, and the Coast Guard's role as the lead agency for maritime homeland security. It provides opportunities for NACO and its membership to participate in local port security committees among other opportunities.
NACO is currently working with the U.S. Coast Guard on medical issues related to license renewal, the new life raft requirement for all COI vessels and other issues as they become for us.
- PFD Requirements
NACO worked to clarify that Personal Floatation Device (PFD) regulations will not apply to charter boat operators. Members had contacted NACO regarding a widespread yet inaccurate media campaign asserting that commercial charter boat passengers would have to wear PFD's. NACO worked with the U.S. Coast Guard to guarantee that the rule would affect only recreational vessels and not charter boats.
- STCW Exemption
NACO succeeded in exempting the charter boat industry from having to comply with the costly rule of Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for seafarers (STCW) by convincing the U.S. Coast Guard that the requirement was inappropriate for charter boat operators. This win saves charter boat operators up to $500 each.
- FCC Licensing Fee Elimination
NACO succeeded in eliminating the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing fees for un-inspected vessel operators. The fees were first reduced from $115 to $75, and then eliminated altogether.
- Streamlined Inspection Program
NACO successfully worked with the U.S. Coast Guard to express the association's concern that this program would increase surprise inspections and increase liability of owners who are enrolled in this program. NACO also urged the Coast Guard to ensure that this program remains voluntary.
- Jones Act
NACO succeeded at having the procedure simplified when charter boat operators need a waiver of the "Jones Act" rules. NACO worked to pass legislation, which creates an administrative program for vessels of foreign hulls to apply for a documentation waiver. Now, the industry will no longer have to go to Congress to obtain a waiver.
- Sinker Ban Blocked
NACO convinced Congress to pass an amendment that would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from seeking to ban the sale and use of lead, zinc or brass fishing lures and sinkers.
- Home Office Tax Deduction
Through NACO's efforts, most charter boat operators are now allowed to deduct the cost of an office at their home. Previously, charter boat operators could not deduct the cost of a home office even if that was the location where they made calls for fishing trips and stored fishing gear and records because a charter boat operator's main place of business was considered on the water. Now, the cost of a home office is deductible if the office is used exclusively for key managerial functions such as billing, marketing, bookings, etc. and there is no other place to perform such duties.