FMC Proposes to Lift Tariff Burden on Foreign NVOCCs

FMC Proposes to Lift Tariff Burden on Foreign NVOCCs

The Federal Maritime Commission has issued a proposed rule that would require foreign-based unlicensed non-vessel-operating common carriers to register with the commission and expand a current tariff rate publication exemption that would allow foreign-based, unlicensed NVOCCs to enter into negotiated rate arrangements in lieu of publishing a rate for cargo shipments in a tariff.

NRAs allow a foreign-based non-vessel-operating common carrier to enter rate-and-service agreements with cargo owners. They currently are available only to licensed foreign-based NVOs.

In a written statement, Richard A. Lidinsky Jr., FMC’s chairman, applauded the commission’s move to consider extending to foreign unlicensed NVOCCs with the same regulatory relief provided more than two years ago to licensed NVOCCs.

“As we move forward, I would hope that the commission will undertake further review of its regulations governing ocean transportation intermediaries in order to make them more effective while providing further relief from unnecessary regulations,” he said.

In the same meeting at which it voted to liberalize the NVO rules, the commission also voted to expedite its previously announced review of service contracts and NRAs as part of a broader review of FMC regulations.

The commission set an April 29 deadline for comments on the proposal to permit NRAs for unlicensed, foreign-based NVOs.