The Federal Maritime Commission
(FMC) held a meeting on January 30, 2002 regarding its Passenger Vessel Operator (PVO) Program. Under the PVO Program, operators are required, among other things, to provide financial assurances and related material to the FMC with regard to reimbursing prospective passengers in the event of non-performance. The FMC Staff raised various issues with the Commissioners related to the PVO Program. Questions were raised regarding whether the self-insurance program should be altered or discontinued. The Staff was concerned that current reporting requirements may be insufficient and that there are no penalties for failure to submit reports in a timely manner. The current $15 million cap on providing evidence of financial responsibility was questioned, as well as the sliding scale and use of a joint bond. The Commissioners generally agreed with the Staff. It was suggested that the old PVO docket be closed and that several new dockets be opened. The Staff was directed to move forward with all deliberate speed with regard to raising the limits of liability and self-insurance. The Staff was also directed to prepare a public notice advising prospective passengers of provisions and limitations of the PVO Program.
Source: HK Law