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FMC Issues Plan for Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Maritime Commission has issued and is soliciting public comments on its plan for a retrospective review of its existing regulations. The FMC states that this plan is “designed to create a defined principle and schedule for identifying and reconsidering certain significant rules that are obsolete, unnecessary, unjustified, excessively burdensome, or counterproductive” or that warrant “strengthening, complementing, or modernizing.”

Rules Already Reviewed or Under Review

The FMC made some changes to its rules of practice and procedure in February 2011 and proposed others in April.

A proposed rule revising the regulations on licensing, financial responsibility requirements and general duties for ocean transportation intermediaries is planned, though no date has been given.

A final rule exempting licensed non-vessel-operating common carriers that enter into negotiated rate arrangements from the tariff publication requirements of the 1984 Shipping Act was published in April. Further review is expected to commence in 2011 and continue during fiscal year 2012.

Rules to be Reviewed in Next Three Years

2012: ocean common carrier and marine terminal operator agreements subject to the 1984 Shipping Act (review for revisions to increase transparency and public input in the agreement review process), interpretations and statements of policy, and NVOCC service arrangements

2013: civil monetary penalty inflation adjustment

2014: controlled carriers, common carrier and MTO agreements

2015: MTO schedules, service contracts

2016: carrier automated tariffs, public information, procedures for environmental policy analysis, conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the U.S., adverse conditions affecting U.S.-flag carriers that do not exist for foreign carriers in the U.S., conditions unduly impairing access of U.S.-flag vessels to ocean trade between foreign ports.

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