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Foreign Unlicensed NVOCCs Get Regulatory Relief Under FMC Rule

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Maritime Commission has issued a final rule that Chairman Richard Lidinsky has said will extend to foreign-based unlicensed non-vessel-operating common carriers “the regulatory relief provided more than two years ago to licensed NVOCCs.” This final rule is effective as of July 19.

The rule requires foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs to register with the FMC by submitting a registration on form FMC-65 that includes their legal name, trade name(s), principal address, contact information including name of a contact person, and name, address and contact person for a designated legal agent for service of process in the U.S. Registrations will be effective for three years and renewed for subsequent three-year periods upon the submission of an updated registration form. Registrations may be terminated or suspended for various infractions, including violation of any law or regulation related to carrying on the business of an ocean transportation intermediary.

The Commission is also expanding a current tariff rate publication exemption to allow foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs that comply with the above registration requirement to enter into negotiated rate arrangements in lieu of publishing a rate for cargo shipments in their tariffs.

Foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs may begin to register as of July 19 and may enter into NRAs once their registration is completed. However, mandatory compliance with the registration requirement is being delayed until Oct. 17.

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