On February 8, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 4188) was signed into law by President Obama, which provides $9.1 billion in annual funding for fiscal 2016 and 2017 and includes a highly anticipated model year change.
This new law allows for a 14 month model year, beginning June 1 and ending July 31st of the following year, two months earlier than its current August 1 to July 31st model period. This extended model year allows boat manufactuers the flexibility to close out old model production while beginning the new model year. Additionally, it allows the ability to apply for an exemption and introduce new model designs prior to June 1, in limited circumstances, by submitting a request to the Coast Guard. Details of the exemption process are still being worked out.
The new 2017 model year beginning June 1, 2016, new models can be introduced any time on or after June 1 through July 2017. Builders can change their new model introduction dates, an important feature of the 14 month period, as long as introduction occurs no earlier than June 1. Also, once exemption language finalizes in the future, it will allow builders a simple process to justify and apply to the Coast Guard for a new model introduction prior to June 1. For questions on the model year changes, please contact Nicole Vasilaros at firstname.lastname@example.org.