Ocean Transportation Intermediary Regulations Get Further Amendments

The Federal Maritime Commission has issued a final rule that, effective Dec. 16, will amend its rules governing licensing, financial responsibility requirements, and general duties for ocean transportation intermediaries. The FMC states that these changes are mainly administrative and procedural.

There are two types of OTIs that serve as transportation middlemen for cargo moving in the U.S.-foreign oceanborne trades: non-vessel-operating common carriers and ocean freight forwarders. All NVOCCs and OFFs located in the U.S. must be licensed by the FMC and establish financial responsibility. Foreign NVOCCs may choose to become FMC-licensed but are not required to do so; however, they must register with the FMC and establish financial responsibility if they are not licensed.

In November 2015 the FMC made significant amendments to its regulations governing OTIs, including adding requirements to renew OTI licenses every three years, providing for simple on-line renewals, eliminating the $10,000 financial responsibility coverage requirement for each unincorporated branch office, and establishing an expedited hearing process for license denials, revocations, and suspensions.

Based on its experience implementing that rule, the FMC is making the following changes to clarify provisions and further reduce the burden on regulated entities.

- removing the optional paper application process for OTI licenses

- adding language to clarify that an officer of a general partner entity can be the qualifying individual in partnerships between entities other than individuals

- adding a requirement that NVOCCs submit their Form FMC-1 prior to being issued a license

- improving and clarifying the license renewal process; e.g., spreading renewals out across the entire year and allowing OTIs additional time to complete the renewal process

- expanding the types of applications subject to direct FMC review to include applicants employing any of the same officers, managers, or members as an OTI whose license was revoked or denied within the previous three years because the FMC determined that the OTI was not qualified to provide OTI services

- clarifying that denial of an OTI license application is final and not subject to hearing procedures

- clarifying that a change in a licensee’s name includes adding or deleting a trade name relating to its OTI services and that OTIs must seek prior FMC approval before making such changes

- clarifying that in addition to the principal’s name, trade name, and address, the financial responsibility instrument must clearly identify the principal’s state of incorporation or formation and the printed name and title of the signatory

The FMC states that it is not finalizing a proposed change that would have allowed licensed OTIs used by foreign-based registered NVOCCs as agents to provide NVOCC services in the U.S. to be either OFFs or NVOCCs.

OTI License Revocations and Applications

The FMC has given notice that the following ocean transportation intermediary licenses have been revoked. A revocation may occur after a license is surrendered voluntarily by the OTI or for failure to maintain a valid bond.

- license #026315N: Afco Shipping LLC, Pompano Beach, FL

- license #026975N: ATA Logistics NY Inc., Jamaica, NY

- license #015908N: BDB Transport Inc. dba Ocean Container Lines, Philadelphia, PA

- license #18170NF: Direct Parcel Service Corp., Doral, FL

- license #0204F: John T. McCarty dba Dingelstedt & Company, Raritan, NJ

- license #4398F: Lina S. Elbaba dba Worldwide Shipping, Oyster Bay, NY

- license #170721N: Logistics USA Inc., Great Neck, NY

- license #027304NF: Sese Global Forwarding LLC, Ooltewah, TN

- license #027350N: Sinport Logistics USA Inc., Houston, TX

- license #024819N: Solid Trans International Inc., Compton, CA

- license #027395F: The International Moving Group LLC, Montebello, NY

- license #023581N: Thuan Loi Shipping, Rosemead, CA

- license #16996F: UC Bridge Inc., Diamond Bar, CA

In addition, the FMC has provided notice that the following have filed applications (a) for OTI licenses as NVOCCs and/or ocean freight forwarders or (b) to amend an existing OTI license or the qualifying individual for a licensee.

- 146‐148 Broad Construction & Renewal Inc. dba Imex Shipping DBA, Newark, NJ (new NVO license)

- Air and Cargo Services Inc., Forest Park, GA (name change to BRI Atlanta Inc.)

- AIT International of America Inc., Torrance, CA (QI change)

- Anderson Worldwide Logistics & Forwarding Inc., Eagan, MN (QI change)

- B.C. Logistics LLC, Phoenix, AZ (adding OFF services)

- Dip Shipping Company LLC, Kenner, LA (adding trade name Latin American Logistics)

- Formula Global Mobility LLC dba Granero Moving, Doral, FL (adding NVO services and adding trade name G-Inter)

- Haste Global Logistics Inc., Brooklyn, NY (new NVO and OFF license)

- IPM Warehousing & Logistics LLC, Guaynabo, PR (new NVO and OFF license)

- Mark and Shaunel Brown Corporation dba Lindsey Forwarders Inc., Portland, OR (QI change)

- Micielo Logistics Corporation, Porter Ranch, CA (new NVO license)

- Mishi International Inc., Miami, FL (QI change)

- Nippon Steel Logistics (USA) Inc. dba SITRA, Schaumburg, IL (additional QI)

- Port of America Shipping LLC, Irvington, NJ (new NVO license)

- Riverscape Forwarding LLC, Portland, OR (name change to Fleet Forwarding LLC)

- SFUS LLC, Miami Beach, FL (new NVO and OFF license)

- Unico Logistics USA Inc., Torrance, CA (QI change)

- Universal Logistics Solutions International Inc., Schaumburg, IL (QI change and name change to Cavalry Logistics International Inc.)

- Wise Cargo USA LLC dba Panacarga Logistics, Miami, FL (QI change)

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