Boating reform? There is, but politics must not sleep

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Bee_reformSo much has been said in recent months about the enabling act to reform the recreational boating code. At long last, the proxy bill was unanimously approved by the Senate; the next steps include a vote in the House, after which the proxy will allow the government to take action on the Recreational Boating Code. But what are we talking about? How will boating change? Let’s try to analyze the law point by point and understand the timeline that will see it become a reality.

1. Simplification. That’s kind of the buzzword these years, in a country overwhelmed by bureaucracy in every facet. The law thus provides for a thinning of the administrative regime, from registrations to safety certificates, but also for flag change practices.

2. Professional Titles. To date, professional titles for boating are equated with commercial ones. Instead, the bill calls for the creation of a simplified professional title for ci deck services on recreational boats.

3. Boating license. It seems that the crazy rule that effectively prevents those who are extremely nearsighted from getting a license will finally go away, thanks to a change in the psychophysical criteria (particularly the auditory and visual ones). With regard to vision for example, one will have to assess its acuity based also on corrections due to glasses or contact lenses. Even, an amnesty could be considered for those who have been refused a driver’s license in the past.

4. Penalties. Among the regulations contained in the law, the tightening of penalties by about one-third for almost all recreational code violations is finally striking. These will include paying more for those who do not abide by speed limits near the coast or in ports, and if you are caught at the helm drunk or under the influence of drugs, it will also result in having your license taken away and your boat impounded.

5. Controls at sea. The much-reviled roadstead controls of past seasons will be entrusted exclusively to the Coast Guard.

6. Endowments. At last, also based on technological developments in recent years, there are plans to revise safety equipment.

7. Marina resorts and dry ports. We’ve had a chance to talk about this, the Marina Resort formula will allow the V.A.T. on transit berths to be raised from 22 percent to 10 percent, kind of like what happens in RV parks. But the law also provides for a specific number (in percentage) of berths reserved for transit, with a focus on those for the disabled and the creation of dry docks in state-owned facilities for small boats.

8. Instructors. A national list (yet to be created) of sailing instructors will be available on the websites of the IVF and the Naval League, who must also hold the patent of the FI or the Naval League themselves.

So far, all good intentions. Now we come to the sore point, those of timing. Once the enabling act is passed, the government has a full two years to issue the necessary decrees for the reforms. The decree outlines then have to pass the opinions of the committees of the chambers. Once the opinions have been considered, the government must resend them (with any amendments) to the Houses of Parliament, which will have 20 days to give a final opinion. The wish is only one at this point: for our politicians to get moving!

 

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