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Delegate Presses Homeland Security on Yacht Issue

Dec.15, 2005 –– Delegate Donna Christensen said in a press release today that she has written to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff again as well as spoken with Assistant Secretary Pam Turner about a series of recommendations that came out of a town meeting she held with members of the charter boat and charter yacht industry.
Specifically, according to the release, Christensen requested the Secretary exempt privately owned and operated yachts from being designated as commercial vessels when the owner hires a crew. She also asked that the Department reduce the number of forms used to comply with the Advance Passenger Information System from seven forms to one.
"As we continue to press for relief from the regulations impacting our charter boats and charter yacht operators, I wanted to add the requests that we received when we held a town meeting with the industry to the list of issues that we want Secretary Chertoff to consider," Christensen said.
She added, "We also wrote to the Small Business Administration to ask them to examine and evaluate the Regulatory Flexibility Act to determine if the APIS regulations have caused an adverse impact to our small businesses in the charter boat and charter yacht industry."
Also, according to the release, Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection Office is expected to send an official to meet with the boating community after the holiday season.

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