The FMC has posted a new OTI
List on its web site at www.fmc.gov This list provides names and license
numbers for all ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs) who are currently in compliance with the FMC licensing,
bond and tariff requirements. This listing will be updated weekly, and should be very useful to shippers, carriers
and forwarders who wish to verify FMC compliance of OTIs serving the USA.
The Commission has maintained a Carrier List
since June 1999 which provides carrier names and tariff locations (web addresses) for vessel operating common
carriers and NVOCCs, but this list does not include the names and license numbers of Ocean Freight Forwarders. The
new OTI list shows 1298 OTI-Forwarders, and 875 OTIs who are licensed to operate as both Forwarders and NVOCCs.
The new OTI list includes all OTI-NVOCCs who are have submitted the necessary surety bond to the FMC and reported
the publication of a tariff by filing a current Form FMC-1. This should help resolve a point of confusion in the
industry regarding the OTI license requirement for NVOCCs. The OTI license is required for all NVOCCs, their agents
and branch offices operating in the USA, but it is not required for NVOCCs whose operations are wholly outside the
USA. Only the US$150,000 bond and tariff are required by the FMC for NVOCCs who serve the USA trades, but whose
operations are outside the USA. There are nearly 700 of these ‘Non-US’ NVOCCs currently authorized by the FMC.
Many ocean carriers and NVOCCs serving the Asia/USA trade lane have recently filed General Rate Increases (GRIs)
and increased bunker surcharges in their FMC Tariffs. The GRI amounts and effective dates vary, especially for LCL
rates, but the most commonly filed amounts have been as follows:
GENERAL RATE INCREASE (GRI)
GRI in US Dollars for FCL rates applicable to Pacific Coast
Base Ports (PC-BP) and Atlantic & Gulf Base Ports (AG-BP):
$525/20′, $700/40′ $790/40′ high cube, $890/45’
GRI in US Dollars for FCL rates applicable to all other US
destinations, including all US inland points, and all other
ports served via PC-BP or AG-BP: $675/20′, $900/40′,
$1015/40′ high cube, $1140/45’.
The GRI amounts for LCL rates vary between $10 and $35 per freight ton. Bunker surcharge increases also vary
widely. In some cases, recent tariff filings apply bunker surcharges for the first time. In the Asia/USA trade
recently filed bunker surcharge amounts are in the range of $5/WM for LCL, and $175/230/260/290 for 20/40/40HC/45’
containers. Rules and surcharges of more than 600 tariffs are accessible at www.dpiusa.com
The Federal Maritime Commission has announced it will conduct a two-hour seminar at the Port of Tacoma offices at
10:00am on Wednesday April 30, 2003. This is another in the series of informational seminars conducted by FMC Area
Representatives. The seminars provide information to the industry and the shipping public with respect to the
FMC’s functions and services, as well as instruction regarding the regulatory obligations of providers and users
of ocean liner shipping services it regulates. There is no charge for these seminars, but registration is
required. Seminars at New York and Los Angeles will be conducted later this year; dates, times and locations will
be posted at www.fmc.gov as available. For the Tacoma seminar, contact Michael
Monek on tel: 206-553-0221 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Annual Performance Plan of
the Federal Maritime Commission for Fiscal Year 2004 has recently been finalized. This annual planning document
always provides insights into the goals and priorities of the Commission. The plan is closely linked to the
Commission’s Strategic Plan, although its content is more detailed and specific as opposed to the general and
long-term focus of the Strategic Plan. The FY 2004 Plan continues FMC’s efforts to take better advantage of
emerging technologies and to offer time/cost saving e-services to regulated entities and the public at large. The
plan also places a particular focus on security as it relates to ocean commerce; the Commission has been more
active in this area since the events of September 11, 2001. Specific performance goals are included to improve the
effectiveness of joint activities with other government agencies, and to heighten awareness of security issues.
In the area of electronic information, the Office of the Secretary will expand its use of electronic documents in
formal proceedings and make these available to internal and external users. The Bureau of Trade Analysis plans to
make its database and library of agreements between carriers and terminal operators accessible on-line via www.fmc.gov and to use the web site to announce agreement filings. The
Commission’s regulated persons index (RPI) is another focus. This extensive database will be modernized allow for
more powerful searches/queries and data manipulation. This will provide more timely and accurate information about
all parties doing business with the Commission, and will facilitate information available to other government
agencies. More efficient exchange of information with other government agencies involved in homeland security is
Outreach to the shipping public has been a focus of the Commission’s new chairman, and the FY 2004 Plan reflects
this. In addition to the improvements to its web site and the new seminar series, FMC Area Representatives and
other key staff will be assigned to appear at industry meetings and functions, and to assist the shipping public
in understanding and complying with the Shipping Act and FMC regulations. Performance indicators for these
activities are the numbers of licenses issued, the number of complaints received, and feedback from users.
The Federal Maritime Commission proposes to amend its regulations on the electronic filing of service contracts
for ocean transportation.
FMC Docket No. 03-03, issued March 26, 2003, proposes to add a provision which would permit persons
authorized to transmit electronically service contract filings to correct within 48 hours an original service
contract filing or an amendment that is defective due to electronic transmission errors. The revision would allow
a “corrected transmission” of the original service contract or amendment submission to be designated as
such and filed in the Commission’s electronic service contract filing system, SERVCON. Under the proposed rule,
the SERVCON system would be modified to accept only corrected service contracts that the filer identifies as such,
and would require the filer to identify the changes made.
In fiscal year 2002 the FMC received 48,154 original service contracts and 210,172 amendments. There are
currently more than 200 persons registered to transmit service contract filings on behalf of 150 vessel operating
common carriers. Comments on the proposed rule changes are invited by the FMC Secretary, email: email@example.com and the Director of the Bureau of Trade Analysis, Ms.
Florence Carr, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and should be submitted by April 26,