The Coastal Resources Management Office is re-organizing the jet ski permit allocation process starting next year, according to Director Felipe Q. Atalig.
“I have decided in the best interest of the Commonwealth that it’s about time that we review and amend the regulations that would be fair to all,” he explained.
On May 31, 1999, all jet ski permits will be terminated and each authorized jet ski site will be included in a lottery style draw.
The lottery process will be conducted on a site by site basis with each site being assigned a number. Qualified applicants will be selected on a random basis for each site.
Atalig said his office will begin the registration process for jet ski applicants starting May 3, 1999.
All persons registering for the lottery must include a copy of their CNMI Business License allowing the operation of a commercial jet ski business.
The closing date for registration will be on May 15, 1999.
Only qualified applicants will be included in the lottery style draw.
The winning recipient will be required to submit all required documents, including a proof of insurance, boat registration, permit application and fee, within five days of the notification of the award.
Each recipient will have two weeks to commence operations at the site. Failure to do will result in the immediate termination of the permit and the site will be redrawn for, Atalig said.
The new director said changes are being implemented to allow others to come in and apply for the permit.
He said that based on his observation, majority of the permit holders are operating the business for almost 10 years and “for anybody to come and apply, the chances are very slim.”
He also mentioned that too many permits have been assigned to foreigners although they have been issued to local businesses.
Atalig said he is looking into limiting the number of jet ski that are being used by each permit holder.
“After carefully considering the current allocation scheme, CRMO feels a random, lottery style approach for permit allocation is the fairest and most equitable method,” Atalig said.
“We understand that a lottery system creates a certain level of chance, however, this system will allow all persons with an interest in the watersports a fair opportunity to participate in this dynamic industry,” he added.