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FMC Reviewing Info Collections on Tariffs, Service Contracts, NSAs, Controlled Carriers

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Maritime Commission is inviting comments through Oct. 24 on the proposed extension without change of the following information collections.

Controlled Carriers. The FMC is required to monitor the practices of controlled carriers to ensure that they do not (a) maintain rates or charges in their tariffs and service contracts that are below a level that is just and reasonable or (b) establish, maintain or enforce unjust or unreasonable classifications, rules or regulations in those tariffs or service contracts that result or are likely to result in the carriage or handling of cargo at rates or charges that are below a just and reasonable level. When a government acquires a controlling interest in an ocean common carrier, or when a controlled carrier newly enters a U.S. trade, such carrier must notify the FMC.

Marine Terminal Operator Schedules and Related Form FMC-1. A marine terminal operator may make available to the public a schedule of its rates, regulations and practices, including limitations of liability for cargo loss or damage, pertaining to receiving, delivering, handling or storing property at its marine terminal. When an MTO does so, the FMC uses information obtained from Form FMC-1 to determine the organization name, organization number, home office address, name and telephone number of the firm’s representatives, and the location of the MTO’s schedules of rates, regulations and practices as well as the publisher.

Carrier Automated Tariffs and Related Form FMC-1. Each common carrier and conference must keep open to public inspection, in an automated tariff system, tariffs showing its rates, charges, classifications, rules and practices between all ports and points on its own route and on any through transportation route that has been established. In addition, individual carriers or agreements among carriers are required to make available in tariff format certain enumerated essential terms of their service contracts. The FMC is responsible for reviewing the accessibility and accuracy of automated tariff systems and uses information obtained from Form FMC-1 to ascertain the location of tariff publications and access their provisions regarding rules, rates, charges and practices.

Service Contracts and Related Form FMC-83. Service contracts (except those dealing with bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, new assembled motor vehicles, waste paper or paper waste) and their related amendments and notices must be filed confidentially with the FMC, which monitors service contract filings for acts prohibited by the Shipping Act of 1984.

NVOCC Service Arrangements and Related Form FMC-78. Non-vessel-operating common carriers and shippers’ associations with NVOCC members may act as shipper parties in NVOCC service arrangements and be exempt from certain tariff publication requirements provided the carriage in question is done pursuant to an NSA filed with the FMC and the essential terms are published in the NVOCC’s tariff. The FMC uses filed NSAs and associated data for monitoring and investigatory purposes and, in its proceedings, to adjudicate related issues raised by private parties.

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