1625-0071.2021 (Supporting Statement)

1625-0071.2021 (Supporting Statement).docx

Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect

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1625-0071


SUPPORTING STATEMENT

RECREATIONAL BOAT POTENTIAL SAFETY DEFECT REPORT

(FORMER TITLE: BOAT OWNERS REPORT – POSSIBLE SAFETY DEFECT)

OMB 1625-0071

COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS: CG Form-5578


JUSTIFICATION:


1. CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH MAKE COLLECTION OF INFORMATION NECESSARY:


Subparagraph 4310(f) of Title 46, United States Code gives the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security the authority to require manufacturers of recreational boats and items of “designated associated equipment” to notify owners who fail to comply with applicable Federal safety standards or are found to contain defects related to safety discovered in their products. This authority is delegated by the Secretary to the Coast Guard via the Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, Revision No. 01.2. (II)(92)(b).

For the purposes of 46 U.S.C. 4310, the phrase, “designated associated equipment,” includes inboard engines, outboard motors and sterndrive units.


One of the methods for enforcement of compliance with the regulations issued under the authority of 46 U.S.C. Chapter 43 involves investigations of complaints from the public about the safety of boats and associated equipment currently in the hands of consumers.


Complaints from the public/consumers are received by various Coast Guard Headquarters and field units. Any person, who believes a product, i.e., boat or engine, contains a defect, or fails to comply with an applicable Federal safety standard, may report it by: (1) completing a Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report (formally the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect) electronically at the Boating Safety website (http://uscgboating.org/php-contact-form/consumer-safety-defect-report.php)); (2) sending completed PDF form via email or USPS; (3) sending a complaint via e-mail; or (4) sending a written complaint to the Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch for investigation.


The Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report collects the minimum amount of information necessary for Coast Guard investigators to make an initial decision concerning the validity of a consumer complaint;


2. PURPOSE OF USE OF THE INFORMATION COLLECTION


The Coast Guard Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch receives approximately 19.6 reports about defects or failures to comply with manufacturer safety standards involving recreational boats and associated equipment annually. We receive reports from consumers, other Coast Guard units, State and local law enforcement units, manufacturers, a compliance test laboratory, the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BOAT/US), Compliance Associates visiting factories under a USCG contract, marine surveyors and a variety of other sources.


The number of consumers who actually complete a Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report by means of the fully electronic reporting option on the Office of Boating Safety website (http://uscgboating.org/php-contact-form/consumer-safety-defect-report.php) ) or a hard copy paper form -- no hard copy forms have been received in the past nine years for an average of 100 percent submitted digital forms over the last nine years.


The Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report collects information necessary to:


(1) identify the boat or associated equipment owner making the complaint;

(2) identify the boat or associated equipment about which the complaint is being made;

(3) determine whether the complaint is the result of a boating accident experienced by the public; and

(4) determine the nature of the complaint.


The information is not collected for statistical purposes. Usually, the information is not shared with other individuals or agencies other than the manufacturers of the products involved; however, should the Coast Guard Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch receive a Freedom of Information Act request, for example, our usual practice is to ask senders of FOIAs to permit redaction of information tending to disclose the names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of individuals.

Upon receipt of a report about defects or failures to comply with manufacturer safety standards, the Coast Guard Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch begins an investigation to determine whether continued use of similar boats or items of associated equipment may adversely affect the safety of the boating public. The investigation may result in a determination that a manufacturer has not violated any provisions of the Federal statutes or Coast Guard regulations, or an investigation may result in additional administrative actions against the manufacturer.


Many reports the Coast Guard receives do not involve manufacturer defects related to safety, but rather, are warranty problems, installation problems, normal wear and tear, etc. The Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report enables Coast Guard personnel investigating a complaint to make an initial determination concerning the likelihood that a defect related to safety exists.


The Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report is completed a single time via electronic means on the website (http://uscgboating.org/php-contact-form/consumer-safety-defect-report.php or on a PDF or paper form (CG –5578) by consumers forwarding complaints about their boats or engines to the Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch.


The Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report provides information necessary to conduct additional administrative action if Coast Guard personnel determine that a potential defect related to safety or failure to comply with Federal statutes or Coast Guard regulations does, in fact, exist.


3. CONSIDERATION GIVEN TO THE USE OF IMPROVED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:


Since approximately CY 2000, the Coast Guard has had a fully electronic reporting option for submitting the Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report (formally titled: Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect). Use of the electronic means for responding to the information request has greatly exceeded the numbers of responses received by means of a hard copy of the form over the last nine years:


What percentage of the information collection can be submitted electronically?


One hundred percent of the information collection can be submitted electronically.


As a practical matter, there is no established number of respondents annually. The number of potential respondents is in the millions (in 2020, for example, 11,840,000 recreational boats were registered in the United States and U.S. territories). In any calendar year, we have no idea as to how many boat owners will choose to file reports of possible safety defects in their boats or engines. Many potential problems are solved by other means under manufacturer warranties, by hiring attorneys, by filing complaints with State better business bureaus and owner associations such as the Boat Owners Association of the United States, etc.


Over the last nine years, 2012 – 2020, on average the analyst receives 19.6 Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect forms. These forms are electronically placed in an electronic folder in chronological order. Any manually completed/submitted form(s) is scanned and downloaded to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect electronic file folder. These forms are easily accessible and are searchable through keyword search, i.e. manufacturer, boat model, and identified defect.


In 2012 we received a total of 26 responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect – all 26 were filed electronically on the Boating Safety website. 26/26 = 100 percent.


In 2013 we received a total of 31 responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect – all 31 were filed electronically on the Boating Safety website. 31/31 = 100 percent.


In 2014 we received a total of 26 responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect – all 26 were filed electronically on the Boating Safety website. 26/26 = 100 percent.


In 2015 we received a total of 22 responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect – all 22 were filed electronically on the Boating Safety website. 22/22 = 100 percent.


In 2016 we received a total of 20 responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect – all 20were filed electronically on the Boating Safety website. 20/20 = 100 percent.


In 2017 we received a total of 22 responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect – all 22 were filed electronically on the Boating Safety website. 22/22 = 100 percent.


In 2018 we received a total of 12 responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect – all 22 were filed electronically on the Boating Safety website. 12/12 = 100 percent.


In 2019 we received a total of 10 responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect – all 22 were filed electronically on the Boating Safety website. 10/10 = 100 percent.


In 2020 we received a total of 8 responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect – all 22 were filed electronically on the Boating Safety website. 8/8 = 100 percent.


100 + 100 +100 + 100 + 100 + 100 + 100+ 100 + 100 = 100/9 = 100 percent of the responses to the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect were filed electronically during the period 2012 through 2020.


4. WHAT EFFORTS HAS THE COAST GUARD MADE TO IDENTIFY DUPLICATION?


This information is not collected in any other form and therefore is not duplicated elsewhere.

5. IF THE COLLECTION OF INFORMATION INVOLVES SMALL BUSINESSES OR OTHER SMALL ENTITIES, WHAT METHODS USED TO MINIMIZE THE BURDEN?


This information collection does not have an impact on small businesses or other small entities.


6. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES TO THE FEDERAL PROGRAM OR POLICY ACTIVITIES IF THE INFORMATION COLLECTION IS NOT CONDUCTED, OR CONDUCTED LESS FREQUENTLY AND ARE THERE ANY TECHNICAL OR LEGAL OBSTACLES TO REDUCING THE BURDEN?


If the Coast Guard declined to take information from the public (owners, law enforcement, marine inspectors, Boating Law Administrator, passenger/occupant) concerning problems they believe could cause injuries or fatalities, the Coast Guard would be derelict in its duty to protect the boating public. If the collection of information were not conducted, the Coast Guard would be unable to adequately investigate consumer complaints without additional correspondence or telephone requests seeking the necessary information. The Coast Guard could be subject to criticism by Congress, boating interest groups and the public for failure to carry out statutory responsibilities for assuring the safety of the boating public.


7. EXPLAIN ANY SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES THAT WOULD CAUSE AN INFORMATION COLLECTION TO BE CONDUCTED IN A MANNER:


There are no special circumstances applicable to this information collection

8. DESCRIBE EFFORTS TO CONSULT WITH PERSONS OUTSIDE THE AGENCY:


A 60-Day Notice (See [USCG-2022-0110], March 4, 2022, 87 FR 12470) and 30-Day Notice (June 7, 2022, 87 FR 34695) were published in the Federal Register to obtain public comment on this collection. The Coast Guard has not received any comments on this information collection.


The CG-5578 form contains statements in accordance with the OMB regulations in 5 CFR 1320 about where respondents may submit comments about the accuracy of the burden estimates and their suggestions for reducing the burden. No comments have been received since OMB last approved this information collection in 2019

The Coast Guard conducts two meetings of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) each year on boating safety matters. The Council is made up of a total of 21 members appointed by the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard operates; seven are representatives from the boating industry, seven are State boating authorities, and seven are representatives of the boating public.


A NBSAC subcommittee recommended that the Coast Guard find improved ways to analyze data and identify the existence of safety defects, and undertake efforts to make boaters more aware of the Coast Guard safety defect correction program. Information concerning consumer complaints and how to file them appears on the Boating Safety website.


9. EXPLAIN ANY DECISION TO PROVIDE ANY PAYMENT OR GIFT TO RESPONDENTS, OTHER THAN REMUNERATION OF CONTRACTORS OR GRANTEES.


There is no offer of monetary or material value for this information collection.

10. DESCRIBE ANY ASSURANCE OF CONFIDENTIALITY PROVIDED TO RESPONDENTS:


There are no assurances of confidentiality provided to the respondents for this information collection. Boat owners filing consumer complaints about products they own and which they believe are defective do not request confidentiality. Most consumers have already tried to get the manufacturer of their boat or engine, or the dealer who sold them the product to effect repair or replacement. Both the website and the form contain a Privacy Act Statement informing the respondent of the uses and further disclosure of information collected.


The Coast Guard will maintain these forms in an electronic folder to determine if a future recall is required based on the number of similar defect reports received. This collection is covered by the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) and System of Records Notices (SORN).


11. PROVIDE ADDITIONAL JUSTIFICATION FOR ANY QUESTIONS OF A SENSITIVE NATURE:


There are no questions of a sensitive nature.


12. PROVIDE ESTIMATES OF THE BURDEN OF COLLECTION OF INFORMATION:


2012 26 via website 0 forms 26 Total

2013 31 via website 0 forms 31 Total

2014 26 via website 0 forms 26 Total

2015 22 via website 0 forms 22 Total

2016 20 via website 0 forms 20 Total

2017 22 via website 0 forms 22 Total

2018 12 via website 0 forms 12 Total

2019 10 via website 0 forms 10 Total

2020 08 via website 0 forms 08 Total


26 + 31 + 26 + 22 + 20 + 22 + 12 + 10 + 08 = 177/9 = 19.6 avg number of respondents annually


The Coast Guard Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch receives an average of 19.6 complaints by means of The Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect annually. The form is patterned after the Motor Vehicle Questionnaire used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in their program. Based on NHTSA's experience, the Coast Guard estimates that it takes 0.4 hours (24 minutes) to complete the Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect report.


19.6 x .4 = 7.84 The total annual burden is estimated to be 7.84 hours.


As a practical matter, there is no established number of respondents annually. The number of potential respondents is in the millions (in 2020, for example, 11,840,000 recreational boats were registered in the United States and U.S. territories). In any calendar year, we have no idea as to how many boat owners will choose to file reports of possible safety defects in their boats or engines.


13. PROVIDE AN ESTIMATE OF THE TOTAL ANNUAL COST BURDEN TO RESPONDENTS OR RECORDKEEPERS RESULTING FROM THE COLLECTION OF INFORMATION:


There are no record keeping, capital, start-up or maintenance costs associated with this information collection.


14. TOTAL ANNUAL ESTIMATED COST TO GOVERNMENT:


The estimated cost to the Federal Government is associated with generating the form letters, printing of report forms, envelopes, postage to and from consumers and administrative staff time spent analyzing responses and preparing reports. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts a similar information collection associated with their Auto Safety Hotline. NHTSA uses an estimated cost of $13.50 per information collection. We estimate 19.6 reports will be submitted annually. The overall cost to the Federal Government is estimated to be $264.60 annually.


15. EXPLAIN REASONS FOR ANY PROGRAM CHANGES OR ADJUSTMENTS:


The estimated burden for the Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report has decrease from 12.04 hours to 7.84 hours a year, this is due to a decrease in the estimated annual number of responses.


In any calendar year, we have no idea as to how many boat owners will choose to file reports of possible safety defects in their boats or engines. The Coast Guard does not receive the same number of consumer complaints each year, nor do we receive complaints from the same consumers every year, nor can we anticipate which consumers will respond. However, the public has obviously learned how easy it is to report defects in boats and associated equipment to the Coast Guard electronically.


16. OUTLINE PLANS FOR TABULATION, STATISTICAL ANALYSIS AND PUBLICATION:


The Coast Guard does not intend to employ the use of statistics or the publication thereof for this information collection,


17. IF SEEKING APPROVAL TO NOT DISPLAY THE EXPIRATION DATE OR OMB APPROVAL OF THE INFORMATION COLLECTION, EXPLAIN THE REASONS THAT DISPLAY WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE:


The Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report displays the expiration date. The Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch will revise the collection to reflect the revised expiration date once the collection is re-approved.


18. EXPLAIN EACH EXCEPTION TO THE CERTIFICATION STATEMENT IDENTIFIED IN ITEM 19.


The Coast Guard does not request an exception to the certification of this information collection.






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