PA 09-105—SB 824

Environment Committee

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee


SUMMARY: This act extends several of the law's provisions concerning marine dealers and engine manufacturers to “marine surveyors” and “yacht brokers. ” These include the requirement to be registered with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The act also eliminates a $50 fee for registering with DEP and instead allows the DEP commissioner to develop regulations for fees to provide registration numbers for these entities.

The act makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009



The act defines a “marine surveyor” as a person certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors or accredited by the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors and engaged in the business of inspection, survey, or examination of vessels or associated equipment to assess, monitor, and report on their condition.

It defines as “yacht broker” as a marine dealer, who, for compensation or an expectation of compensation, sells or negotiates to sell or offers to sell; buys or offers to buy, solicits or obtains listings of; or negotiates the purchase, sale, or exchange of vessels, but who does not own them.

By law, a “marine dealer” is a person engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling, or repairing new or used vessels. A “yacht broker” is, thus, a subset of the “marine dealer” category under the act.

The act requires marine dealers, engine manufacturers, and marine surveyors to swear to an established place of business in an affidavit when applying for marine dealer registration numbers. It exempts yacht brokers from having to have an established place of business.

DEP Regulations

The act eliminates a $50 registration fee for each required DEP marine dealer or engine manufacturer number and allows the DEP commissioner to adopt regulations for marine dealers (including yacht brokers), engine manufacturers, and surveyors concerning: (1) establishing fees for each marine dealer registration number issued; (2) the application for such numbers; (3) examination of a marine dealer, marine engine manufacturer, or marine surveyor with respect to criteria for number issuance; and (4) issuance and display of marine dealer registration numbers.

Registration Numbers and Certificates

By law, marine dealers and engine manufacturers must have a DEP marine dealer registration number and certificate to operate vessels they use. They (1) must use the numbers on vessels only for purposes the law allows and (2) must carry aboard a vessel they are operating the registration certificate or have copy available for inspection. The act extends these provisions to marine surveyors and yacht brokers.

It extends to marine surveyors the same registration requirements imposed on marine dealers or engine manufacturers. Surveyors' registration certificates must state they are for surveyors and contain the person's name, resident and business addresses, registration number, the certificate's expiration date, and other information the commissioner may require.

It also extends to these entities the requirement for marine dealers and engine manufacturers to renew their certificates on May 1 annually. Certificates expire April 30, unless terminated sooner or surrendered.

Display of Registration Number

The act requires any vessel that a marine surveyor uses to inspect, survey, or examine a vessel or associated equipment for assessing, monitoring, or reporting on the condition of a vessel or its associated equipment to display a registration number. The law requires (1) marine dealers to display registration numbers (a) when using a vessel for sale, trade, repair or transport and (b) on any vessel sold by such dealers for no more than five days after the date of such sale and (2) engine manufacturers to display registration numbers on any vessel they use for the sole purpose of testing or demonstrating marine engines they manufactured or repaired. The act extends the requirement to yacht brokers as well, by definition.

Use by Bona Fide Employees

The law allows a marine dealer's bona fide employees to use vessels for specific reasons (see BACKGROUND). The act allows any marine surveyor or his or her bona fide full-time employee to operate a vessel with a marine dealer's registration number when inspecting, surveying or examining the vessel or associated equipment, provided the surveyor has a written contract to perform the work and a copy of the contract is on the vessel while the surveyor's registration number is displayed on the vessel.

By law, a “bona fide full-time employee” is a person who a marine dealer employs for at least 35 hours per week and appears in the marine dealer's records as an employee for whom tax is withheld for Social Security, federal income tax, and any other withholding or deductions from salary the law requires. The act adds “marine surveyors” to this and, by definition, yacht brokers.

Prohibitions and Number Revocation

By law, nobody may use a vessel with a marine dealer's or marine engine manufacturer's registration number for any purpose other than those the law allows. The act extends this prohibition on unauthorized activities to marine surveyors' and yacht brokers' registration numbers.

The act prohibits a marine surveyor from renting, hiring out, or conveying passengers or merchandise or freight for hire on, any vessel registered with a marine surveyor's number and certificate. The law prohibits these actions for marine dealers, and thus yacht brokers under the act, and engine manufacturers.

The act also prohibits marine surveyors from loaning a number certificate to anyone. By law, marine dealers and engine manufacturers may do so for specific reasons, such as for vessel demonstration, which the act extends to yacht brokers.

Under the law, the DEP commissioner may revoke any marine dealer's or engine manufacturer's registration number if any vessel with a number issued to the dealer or engine manufacturer is used in violation of the law. The act extends this DEP enforcement authority for vessels with a number issued to marine surveyors and yacht brokers.


Marine Dealer Registration Numbers

The law allows marine dealers to operate, or direct their bona fide full-time employees to operate, a vessel with a marine dealer's registration number when:

1. a potential purchaser or customer is aboard;

2. running a new vessel from an import terminal to the dealer's place of business;

3. test running a new vessel after receiving it from the manufacturer;

4. delivering a sold vessel to the new owner;

5. running a trade-in vessel from a buyer;

6. test running a trade-in vessel before it is made available for sale;

7. running a vessel to, and using a vessel in, a fishing tournament;

8. test running a vessel after repairs, maintenance or winter storage;

9. used in connection with the business of the marine dealer;

10. running the vessel to obtain or deliver parts for the repair of the vessel or another vessel; and

11. the marine dealer chooses for personal use.

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