For the third consecutive year, MegayachtNews.com is serving as a co-host of the American Boating Congress, a comprehensive legislative conference in May.
The American Boating Congress is a marine-industry initiative spanning more than two decades. It’s being held May 9 to 11 in Washington, D.C. and brings together more than 200 yacht builders, brokers, and other business leaders as well as key legislators on Capitol Hill. It does so through in-person and group meetings. Participants explain issues that impact yacht owners and buyers, plus yachting visitors to U.S. shores.
“The American Boating Congress represents a strong cross-section of the recreational yachting market, but MegayachtNews.com is one of just two co-hosts focused solely on the megayacht market,” says Diane M. Byrne, editor of the website. “The other is the U.S. Superyacht Association, a trade organization that MegayachtNews.com has proudly been a member of for several years. We’ll be collaborating with the U.S. Superyacht Association during the American Boating Congress, bringing key concerns to the attention of Congress.”
One such concern is the requirement for foreign-flagged yachts marketed for sale stateside to pay import duty on arrival. Furthermore, the duty is based on the yacht’s appraised value vs. the list price. No potential buyer can step aboard until the duty is paid. It all stems from the Tariff Act of 1930, which has come to apply to a broad spectrum of imported products for sale. The U.S. Superyacht Association, the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the latter of which organizes the American Boating Congress, all support amending the law. They want owners to be permitted to defer the tax to the conclusion of the sale, and base it on the final sale price. “It’s an old law that makes no practical sense,” says Nicole Vasilaros, vice president of federal and legal affairs for the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The NMMA is glad to partner on this.”
Due to this being an election year, there are concerns about lame duck Congresspeople, and therefore no action being taken on issues. “Even if it’s just educational, they still need to hear from us,” Vasilaros stresses. “If they don’t hear the message, it’ll never become high on their radar. When things start to move, the opportunity is not lost. It’s about laying the groundwork now.”
Even though the American Boating Congress is an industry event, yacht owners can get involved—now. Via the grassroots Boating United initiative, you can find and contact your legislators, research pending legislation, and add your name to petitions.