Federal Lanyard Law Goes In Effect April 1, 2021

Posted on Mar 24, 2021 in Announcements, Boat Harbors, Commercial Activities, Fishing Activities, Information Meeting, Main, Ocean Recreation Activities, slider

A NOTICE FOR OPERATORS OF SMALL BOATS <26′

Starting April 1st, 2021, operators of boats under 26′ long will be required to wear an engine cut-off switch link while riding on a plane or above displacement speed. Fines for non-compliance will start at $100.

The Coast Guard will begin enforcing this law on 4/1/21 in an effort to reduce run-away boat incidents. The USCG announcement can be found below.

 

ENGINE CUT-OFF SWITCH ENFORCEMENT IMPLEMENTATION

A. 46 U.S.C. § 4312
B. U.S. Coast Guard Boarding Officer Job Aid Kit (BOJAK) Edition F,
February 2020

1. This ACN announces the requirement to use an Engine Cut-Off
Switch (ECOS) while operating recreational vessels and enforcement
guidance for Boarding Officers.

2. Background.
    a. Section 503 of the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization
Act (CGAA) of 2018 requires a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer
that installs propulsion machinery and associated starting controls
on a covered recreational vessel (less than 26 feet long and
capable of 115 pounds of static thrust) to equip the vessel with
an ECOS per American Boat and Yacht Council Standard A-33. This
applies to all recreational vessels built on or after 01 January
2020. Section 503 of the 2018 CGAA allowed the Coast Guard, through
the National Boating Safety Advisory Council, to initiate a boating
safety program to educate the public on the use and benefits of
ECOS on recreational vessels. This statute is self-implementing;
regulations are not required.
    b. Section 8316 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
for Fiscal Year 2021 amended REF (A) to require individuals
operating recreational vessels less than 26 feet long and capable
of 115 pounds of static thrust, or approximately 3 horsepower, to
wear ECOS links while operating the recreational vessel on plane
or above displacement speed, except if the main helm is within an
enclosed cabin or the vessel does not have and is not required to
have an ECOS. It provides a penalty for non-compliance of not more
than $100, $250, and $500 for the first, second, and third
offenses respectively. The effective date is 90 days after the
date of enactment, which will be 01 April 2021.

3. Enforcement posture.
    a. Installation Requirement. Installation requirements are
enforced through the Recreational Boat Testing and Compliance
Program. Coast Guard Boarding Officers will not enforce the
installation requirement, but must instead notify COMDT (CG-BSX-23)
at [email protected] with the name of the manufacturer and the Hull
Identification Number (HIN) of the boat that was not in compliance.
    b. Use Requirement. Until 01 April 2022, only written warnings
will be issued for ECOS devices that are not used as intended or
not serviceable for first-time offenders. This grace period will
allow for increased public awareness of the new safety requirements.
Not serviceable in this section means that, based on visual
inspection, a device is damaged or missing.   

4. Policy. Effective immediately, REF (B) will be updated as
follows.
    a. Section A, Recreational Vessel Regulations for UNDER 16 FT
and 16-UNDER 26 FT, sections will be added titled ENGINE CUT-OFF
SWITCH (ECOS) and state: “Installation requirements. Installation
requirements for Engine Cut-Off Switches are enforced through the
Recreational Boat Testing and Compliance Program. Coast Guard
Boarding Officers will not enforce the installation requirements,
but must instead notify CG-BSX-23 at [email protected] with the
name of the manufacturer and the HIN of the boat not in compliance;”
and “Use Requirements. Vessel operators are required to wear ECOS
links while operating the recreational vessel on plane or above
displacement speed, except if the main helm is within an enclosed
cabin or vessel does not have and is not required to have an ECOS.”
    b. “Engine Cut-Off Switch” will be added to the tables for
warnable offenses in sections A-4 and A-6, with the sub-parts “not
serviceable” and “not used as intended.”
    c. PDF of updates in paragraph 4.a, along with additional
information for Coast Guard Boarding Officers, is available on the
COMDT (CG-MLE-2) CGPortal site at: https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/
units/cgmle/cgmle2/SitePages/LE%20Policy%20Messages%20and%20
Documents.aspx.

5. Additional Information.
    a. To raise public awareness regarding new ECOS requirements,
COMDTs (CG-092) and (CG-BSX-2) have developed a public affairs
campaign. Additional public information is available at:
https://uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/engine-cut-off-
switch-faq.php. 
    b. Guidance for USCG Auxiliary personnel performing Vessel
Safety Checks is available on the USCG Auxiliary Web Portal at:
http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=V-DEPT&category=
vessel-examiner.

6. This message will be cancelled on 22 March 2022.

7. POCs.
    a. COMDT (CG-MLE-2), CWO3 Lee Conroy, (202) 372-2171 or
[email protected].
    b. COMDT (CG-BSX-2), Mr. Joseph Carro, (202) 372-1068 or
[email protected].

8. Released by RDML Scott W. Clendenin, Assistant Commandant for
Response Policy (CG-5R).

9. Internet release is authorized.

 

 

Posted 3/24/21