A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PASSENGER VESSEL OWNERS

Public policy was the focus of the National Association of Passenger Vessel Owners' (NAPVO) activities in 1988. Led by a newly appointed Public Policy Committee, the association addressed several important issues relating to marine transportation. •In anticipation of the Subchapter T regulatory revisions, we met with the U.S. Coast Guard to devise industry courses. It is expected that the new regulations will call for a stricter standard of construction and manning for the larger vessels, but a relaxation of the rules concerning material of construction.

•Responding to Coast Guard concerns about manning requirements on Subchapter T vessels, the association founded a Safety and Training Committee to develop training standards for the industry. Our position is that the key to the solution is the quality of the manning and not the quantity.

•The Coast Guard's proposed drug testing regulations sparked major concern among association members this past year. NAPVO members were the only industry group to successfully lobby for relief on the regulations. A provision that would have required random drug testing of non-safety-related crew was struck from the rules.

•NAPVO continued to urge the Coast Guard to crackdown on illegal bareboat charter operators throughout the nation. Our members seek to operate under a consistent set of equitable rules. The presence of illegal operators impede the process of fair trade. We commend the Coast Guard for the many positive steps they have taken in this area.

To assist NAPVO in their efforts, we employed a technical advisor, retired Coast Guard Capt. Peter Lauridsen. Most recently Deputy Chief of the Coast Guard Office of Marine Safety, Captain Lauridsen brings to us a wealth of experience and knowledge in how to work effectively on marine issues.

As NAPVO moves into 1989,1 see us faced with continued issues in regulatory development.

Subchapter T, manning, drug enforcement and other issues will remain with us. User fees for Coast Guard services are expected to resurface this year. Further, we anticipate more attempts to change employment relations by trying to increase minimum wage, forcing mandated health insurance, and regular child care.

Our membership has continued to grow. It is only through our collective efforts that NAPVO will continue to remain in the vanguard of efforts to protect the small passenger industry from having to operate in an uncompetitive regulatory environment.

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