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FMC Considers Changes to Rules on Service Contracts, NVOCC Service Arrangements

Monday, February 29, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Maritime Commission is accepting through March 30 comments on possible changes intended to update, modernize and reduce the burden associated with its regulations on service contracts and non-vessel-operating common carrier service arrangements. The changes under consideration include the following.

- allowing amendments to a service contract or NSA to be effective before the date they are filed

- requiring the use of the six-digit FMC organization number for NVOCCs that are a contract holder or affiliate in a service contract or NSA, adding a data field in SERVCON allowing entry of this number, or requiring service contracts or NSAs to be formatted to contain metadata that includes this number

- allowing an amendment to a service contract or NSA to be filed individually and sequentially within 30 days of its effectiveness or allowing any number of amendments to be consolidated into a single document but filed within 30 days of the effective date of the earliest amendment

- extending from 48 hours to 30 days the period after the filing of the original contract, NSA or amendment in which a corrected transmission may be filed

- extending from 45 days to 180 days the time period for a filing an amendment to a service contract or NSA

- reducing the filing fee from $315 to around $100

- eliminating the requirement for publication of essential terms

- expanding the list of commodities exempt from the tariff publication and service contract and NSA filing requirements

- requiring NSA shippers to certify their status, as shippers are required to do under the service contract regulations

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