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Boat owners need to know new Coast Guard AIS rules

In connection with a new U.S. Coast Guard mandate for Automatic Identification System marine electronics units, manufacturer ACR is offering a rebate on its AIS Class A and Class B transceivers.

The offshore spokesperson for safety and survival experts ACR Electronics, George Poveromo, is advising commercial operators and pleasure boat owners to be aware of new United States Coast Guard AIS regulations introduced in U.S. waters on March 1.

Poveromo said the new mandate, which increases the number of commercial vessels required to install AIS, is set to improve navigational safety for everyone as the amount of vessel traffic information and data available to AIS users at sea expands.

“The imminent enforcement of the new USCG AIS regulations will make AIS technology even more appealing to all boaters as a new level of safety and as an extra back-up for individual captains, crew and families to use in conjunction with other products,” he said. As more commercial vessels are forced to comply with the AIS rule, the prospect of harnessing the general safety and navigational benefits of being able to see other AIS equipped vessels and be seen as well is also appealing to more leisure boaters, he added.

“Having recently installed AIS myself on my 28-foot fishing boat as an added safety feature, I can confirm that it is also an incredibly reassuring resource for leisure boaters for use as both a safety and navigational tool and also as a potential aid for search and rescue,” Poveromo said. “It is particularly important for anyone on the water at night or during times of poor visibility or squally weather. Instead of just seeing lights in the distance, AIS enables me to see and identify other boats, check their course and movements and therefore establish whether I am in danger.”

For information about the rebate, visit For background on AIS (Automatic Identification System) and the new USCG (United States Coast Guard) AIS mandate, visit