The Federal Maritime Commission is accepting comments through June 9 on a proposed rule that would make a number of changes to its regulations governing carrier automated tariffs, including the following.

- require ocean carriers and conferences to provide free access to their tariffs by removing the option to charge a fee

- allow non-vessel-operating common carriers to cross reference a carrier’s tariff but only for those charges being passed through to the shipper at cost (the FMC believes this will help clarify for shippers where certain charges originate)

- clarify that NVOCCs, like carriers, can pass through to shippers (without markup) charges not under the control of the carrier (canal tolls, taxes, etc.)

- update the definition of co-loading to apply only to less-than-container loads

- require that documentation accompanying full container load shipments be annotated with the names of all NVOCCs associated with the cargo so that the beneficial cargo owner has the information needed to contact any NVOCC that may have control of its cargo

- specify that failure to maintain a tariff will result in the revocation of an NVOCC’s license or the suspension of a foreign-based NVOCC’s registration

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