The Federal Maritime Commission is proposing a change in rules that will make it more expensive for U.S. non-vessel-operating common carriers to do business in China.
The proposal would increase the bond rider amount from $21,000 to $50,000. The Chinese government requested the change in order to reflect changes in the relative values of the dollar and yuan. The bond amount was set in a 2003 bilateral maritime agreement.
The deadline for public comment is March 12.
In 2003 the two countries agreed to allow U.S. sureties to cover U.S. NVOs in China as an alternative to compliance with Chinese NVO rules that required a cash deposit. The current proposal also allows NVOs to adjust bond rider amounts for branch offices so that total coverage equals $125,000.
The commission solicited public comments on the bond rider issue in June. Three comment letters indicated the bond program has been a success, and they suggested that the bond amount be allowed to fluctuate with changes in currency value.