MARITIME (REGISTRATION OF FOREIGN-BASED UNLICENSED NVOCC’S) / “The Federal Maritime Commission … revises its rules to impose registration requirements on foreign-based unlicensed non-vessel-operating common carriers and to extend an exemption from certain provisions and requirements of the Shipping Act of 1984 and the Commission regulations to foreign-based unlicensed non-vessel-operating common carriers that agree to negotiated rate arrangements.” Great summary from Thompson Hine LLP.

Great summary from Karyn A. Booth, Esq. and Jason D. Tutrone, Esq. of Thompson Hine LLP issued the day after the final rule published in Federal Register available here.

“Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier Negotiated Rate Arrangements; Tariff Publication Exemption”

July 18, 2013. Final Rule.

“Under the Commission’s current rule at 46 CFR part 532, titled NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements, licensed non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) that choose to enter into negotiated rate arrangements (NRAs) are exempted from the tariff rate publication requirements of the Shipping Act of 1984 and certain provisions and requirements of the Commission’s regulations. At the time of the promulgation of the rule, the Commission determined to exempt only licensed NVOCCs because of concerns relating to the limited information available to the Commission about foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs.

“On December 5, 2012, however, the Commission determined it could extend the exemption at 46 CFR part 532 to foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs by implementing new registration and other requirements. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published on February 26, 2013. 78 FR 13011.”

 

“The Commission received six comments: Federazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Spedizioni Internazionali (FEDESPEDI), International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA), National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA), Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), Unaffiliated Shippers of America (USOA), and UPS Ocean Freight Services, Inc. (UPS).

“Although the Commission’s discussion of an NRA extension necessitated inclusion of the requirement of registration (and renewal) of foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs in this rulemaking, the registration and renewal of such NVOCCs is not a condition only for NRA exemption. Even if a foreign-based unlicensed NVOCC does not use the NRA exemption, such an NVOCC must still register with the Commission under the final rule because the Commission believes that keeping updated information not only for foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs that enter into NRAs, but also for all foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs is necessary to better protect the shipping public.

“The extension of the NRA rule will increase competition among NVOCCs by providing a level playing field to all NVOCCs, and thus will not lead to a substantial reduction in competition. Further, with the additional requirements proposed in the NPRM and included in this final rule, the extension will not be detrimental to commerce.”