Regulatory Reference Guide


Welcome to the online Regulatory Reference Guide (RRG). It offers you the opportunity to search, sort and consult the rules impacting the recreational marine. The ICOMIA Secretariat invites all MIAs to check and update their sections frequently. We are sure that you will appreciate this very informative tool.

Please note: Currently, due to our recent website transition, the RRG is can not be edited by our members. MIAs will be informed as soon as it is possible to make updates. Before then, if you would like to update your country’s section, you can email your changes to

To browse the RRG, select a country and/or criteria from the dropdown menus

Updated date Country Criteria
November 9, 2017 USA Taxation

The United States does not impose federal sales taxes or value added taxes on boats. Instead, sales taxes operate at the state level, with rates ranging by state. For current state sales tax rates, please visit

November 9, 2017 USA Styrene Levels

The limit for styrene levels in the United States is 100 ppm, with some states implementing a voluntary code with lower levels. Industry has agreed to follow a 50ppm level.

November 9, 2017 USA Safety Equipment

Minimum maritime safety requirements apply at federal level. Please consult US Coast Guard Recreational Boater\'s Website at For information on the mandatory use of life jackets by state, please visit

November 9, 2017 USA Registration

For information on boat registration and licenses by state, please visit Alternatively, you may visit a database both for boat registration and tax information by state at In order for a boat to be registered, the boat manufacturer or importer must provide the purchaser with a Certificate of Origin. For information on this certificate, please visit

November 9, 2017 USA Product Liability

Product liability is governed by lawsuits and case law. Warranty requirements are covered by federal and state law. For a comprehensive guide on state warranty repair law: The US Coast Guard (USCG) has authority to require recalls of unsafe boats and certain associated equipment. In most states, liability insurance is not mandatory for boaters. For information on mandatory insurance by state, please visit

November 9, 2017 USA Operating Limits

Speed and area restrictions, as well as requirements concerning the wear of engine cut off lanyards, vary according to state level regulation. For a detailed table of all these, please visit The US Coast Guard (USCG) is currently working on a requirement for recreational boats to be equipped with engine cut off lanyards.

November 9, 2017 USA Marinas and Harbours

Local jurisdiction standards govern expansion and new development of marinas. There are federal guidelines for handicapped access. A range of environmental and safety regulations relevant to marinas and harbors are in force at federal, state and local level. More detailed information can be found at For information on relevant federal environmental regulations, please visit

November 9, 2017 USA Environment

Noise limits under consideration or already in place in most States. Emissions standards set by USEPA in place for SI stern drive/inboard, outboard engines and PWC. EPA and California regulations for engine emissions are currently all harmonized. California has taken steps to require alternative evaporative emissions standards for boat builders from EPA requirement. For more information on US EPA emission requirements:

November 9, 2017 USA Drivers Licences

The United States does not issue drivers licenses for boaters. However, there is an increasing trend at state level for mandatory boater education, and most states require training for juveniles. For information on boating education requirements by state, please visit

November 9, 2017 USA Construction Standards and Certification

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has oversight over mandatory government regulation concerning construction standards for the boating industry. Potential manufacturers or importers of recreational boats must contact the USCG Boating Safety Divisions Recreational Boating Product Assurance Division at 001 202 372-1077 and request a Manufacturers Identification Code (MIC) form. For the USCG Boatbuilders Handbook on construction standards and compliance guidelines, please visit In addition, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) provides voluntary product certification services. For these programs, please visit