b'LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORWelcome to 2023 AT THE HELMJOHN GROUNDWATER // EXECUTIVE DIRECTORH appy New Year from all of us here at the Passenger Vessel As- to save capital from annual earnings tax-free to use in constructing, sociation. We are extremely optimistic about prospects andreconstructing, or purchasing a vessel. These funds can also be used opportunities in the coming months for all in the passengerto pay off debt attached to vessel acquisition. In addition, there are no vessel industry. Please know that we appreciate your continuing sup- federal taxes on program withdrawals, as long as the funds are used for port and we are committed to representing your interests in the com- allowable purposes. ing weeks and months. Expanding the eligibility of the CCF was a long-standing legislative goal Looking back over 2022, strong attendance at the PVA Conventionof PVA and is a significant achievement in that an estimated 200-plus at MariTrends 2022 in Covington, Ky., brought the industry backPVA members are now eligible to participate, where before the program together to a much-needed face-to-face meeting environment. PVAwas limited to a small number of U.S. passenger vessel operators.members participated in numerous informative presentations and reveledintouringapackedMariTrends2022exhibithall.FromCongressman John Garamendi of California is credited, and thanked, all indications, PVA members were energized by this long-awaitedfor his leadership in championing this legislative change. in-person experience and following the convention eagerly launched into business seasons which would, in many cases, measure up to pre-pandemic levels. Expanding the eligibility of the Attendance was also very strong for all of our region meetings in the fall. These events offered lively and in-depth discussions about a vari- Capital Construction Fundety of important industry issues. PVA members always enjoy getting together at these region meetings to socialize, share knowledge, andwas a long-standing legislative goal exchange information.of PVA and is a significant Members of the PVA Safety and Security Committee and the PVA Regulatory Committee were particularly busy in 2022. PVA submit- achievement in that an estimated ted comments to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Ad- 200-plus PVA members are now ministration (NOAA) on its proposal to amend the North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule. Safety and Security Com- eligible to participate.mittee members continued their rigorous work on a variety of safety related projects.The Engineering Subcommittee, a subset of the Safety and Security Committee, continued its work on retrofit guidance on lighting fixtures. A session covering the CCF is scheduled during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2023 in Long Beach for interested mem-PVA and the U.S. Coast Guard furthered relations and work productsbers. Dan Ladd of MARAD, who is responsible for administering the via two face-to-face Quality Partnership meetings. These importantCCF will give this presentation on the CCF program on Thursday, gatherings are intended to foster communications and cooperation inFeb. 2, from 45 p.m. at the Long Beach Convention and Entertain-a non-regulatory environment. ment Center.CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION FUND CCF EXPANSION LOOKING FORWARD TO THEKEY PVA LEGISLATIVE VICTORY PVA ANNUAL CONVENTION AT MARITRENDS 2023At the end of the year, Congress passed, and the president signed, theAs we look ahead to the happenings of 2023, the PVA Annual Conven-National Defense Authorization Act into law. An amendment includ- tion at MariTrends 2023, scheduled Feb. 2-5 at the Long Beach Con-ed in that bill expanded the eligibility for PVA members to participatevention and Entertainment Center in Long Beach, Calif., leads things in the Capital Construction Fund (CCF). Now, any PVA member whooff in grand fashion. This years convention will feature more than 60 is a private owner of a U.S. flagged passenger vessel can participate insessions and events designed specifically for those in the passenger ves-this important program, regardless of geographic location. sel industry.The CCF, which is administered by the U.S. Maritime AdministrationIn addition to a variety of educational sessions, the convention includes (MARAD), allows operators who apply to participate in the program,keynote addresses from government and industry leaders.Continued on page 397 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023'