FMC License for Ocean Freight Forwarders
OFFs must be prepared to provide shippers with a detailed breakout of all charges and underlying ocean freight bills upon request. The below notice is required on all OFF invoices.:
“Upon request, we shall provide a detailed breakout of the components of all charges assessed and a true copy of each pertinent document relating to these charges.”
Ocean Freight Forwarders typically charge their shipper customers a forwarder fee or documentation fee for preparing shipping documentation.
Ocean Freight Forwarders (OFFs) in the US are different from Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs). OFFs only arrange for ocean freight on behalf of their shipper customers. They do not hold themselves out as an ocean carrier and do not issue their own bills of lading.
OFFs are prohibited from entering into Service Contracts with Vessel-Operating Ocean Carriers and must provide underlying ocean freight bills to shippers along with a detailed breakout of all charges upon request. OFFs typically charge their shipper customers forwarder fees or documentation fees for preparing shipping documentation. OFF may also earn forwarder commissions from ocean carriers.
Yes, Ocean Freight Forwarders may earn forwarder commissions from ocean carriers. Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers and cargo owners may not earn forwarder commissions from ocean carriers.
OFFs must certify that they have performed forwarding services prior to receiving commissions from VOCCs and NVOCCs.
Yes, it is possible to obtain an FMC license for both Ocean Freight Forwarder and Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier services.