Home News Local government CHRISTIANSEN INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ELIMINATE SIX PACK RULE IN V.I.

CHRISTIANSEN INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ELIMINATE SIX PACK RULE IN V.I.

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Delegate to Congress Donna Christian-Christensen introduced legislation Friday to "help revitalize the charter boat industry by giving charter boat operators the ability to compete against competitors in non-U.S. jurisdictions."
The bill would reverse the effects of the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993, which limits uninspected vessels weighing less than 100 gross tons to carrying a maximum of six passengers.
Over the past twenty years, crewed charter boats have grow larger, and as a result, the average vessel now has the ability to carry eight or ten guests.
"The limitation of only six passengers for uninspected vessels has resulted in virtually all vessels, which are able to carry more than six passengers, leaving U.S. Virgin Islands waters and relocating to the nearby British Virgin Islands," Christensen said.
"The international standard for the inspection of passenger vessels only applies to vessels that carry more than twelve passengers. This has meant that foreign registered vessels cannot comply with U.S. laws and enter U.S. Virgin Islands waters carrying more than six passengers," Christensen also said.
This limitation has eliminated the charter boats picking up or dropping off passengers in the USVI. The boats are provisioned between charters, so the USVI is also missing out on that lucrative source of revenues as well.
"As recently as 1988, USVI marine businesses generated more than $85 million in revenue, but that figure has dropped to less than $15 million today, because of the decline in the industry due to the change in law, " Christiansen said.
The bill will be considered when Congress resumes in January.

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