On Wednesday (Feb 1) at 8 a.m., Government Affairs Senior Manager Nick Rudowich will testify at the Washington State Capitol Building in support of an amendment that would improve the RV plan approval process, according to a News & Insights report by the RV Industry Association (RVIA).
Washington is a unique state because it is currently one of only two states that regulate the manufacturing of RVs. RV manufacturers submit model plans to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, pay a fee for each plan submittal, and Labor and Industries approves or denies the RV plans. After the model plan is approved, RV manufacturers purchase a Washington RV insignia which is then attached to the vehicle. This is a necessary step in Washington for a RV manufacturer to sell their vehicle to a Washington RV dealer, and for a Washington RV dealer to sell that vehicle to a consumer.
From 2021 and throughout 2022, the RV industry experienced significant delays in RV plan reviews because of staffing issues at the Department of Labor and Industries, Factory Assembled Structures Division. These issues created a massive backlog of RV plans and caused a disruption to RV commerce.
RV plan approval by the Department Labor and Industries is required for RV manufacturers to purchase Washington State RV insignias. These Washington State RV insignias are required by Washington statute to sell an RV in the state of Washington. Because the state could not perform its responsibility and approve plans, RV manufacturers were unable to purchase and subsequently ship RVs to Washington RV dealers in a timely manner. Washington RV dealers ultimately lost business, as consumers went out of state for the products their in-state dealers did not have.
To resolve this issue, Rudowich will be testifying in support of an amendment (RCW 43.22.350) to the Washington RV plan approval process (HB 1514). Although the process is already in place, this amendment would make it permanent. He will be stating that RV manufacturers can purchase insignia on submission of plans to the state. RV manufacturers must have a state approved quality control program and pay the required fees of plan submission to the Department of Labor and Industries.
In addition, this year RVIA will host quarterly webinars in conjunction with the Department of Labor and Industries to switch the RV industry from physical plan submission to digital. The RV industry did not use digital plan submission in the past because the digital plan submission process was more costly to RV manufacturers than physical submission. Due to recent fee changes digital submission has become the cheaper option.
“The RV Industry Association and the State of Washington have come together to ensure commerce will continue into the future when there is no fault of the industry,” says Rudowich. “We thank the state, especially the Department of Labor and Industries, for working with the RV Industry Association and our members to find a solution to a critical problem. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the state of Washington in the future.”
Those interested in viewing the hearing can visit the Washington Department of Labor and Industries’ website. For questions on this issue, please contact Nick Rudowich at [email protected].