Home / Signals™ / Signals™ Headlines – August 5, 2013

Signals™ Headlines - August 5, 2013

New FMC Registration Regulations for NVOCCs Outside the USA

A new regulation issued by the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) will require Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) outside the USA serving the US trades to comply with new registration requirements and created a new registration form FMC-65. The new FMC registration requirements are provided in FMC Docket 11-22. Registrations will be effective for a period of three years. Thereafter, registrations must be renewed for sequential three-year periods upon submission of an updated registration form. The deadline for compliance with this new regulation is October 17, 2013.

The new Form FMC-65 does not replace any of the existing FMC requirements for NVOCCs outside the USA; it applies in addition to them. The final rule in this matter updates the FMC’s licensing regulations in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 46 CFR Part 515.19. The Form FMC-65 requires an officer of the registering NVOCC to certify he/she has read and will abide by the FMC’s regulations governing the activities of transportation intermediaries and the pertinent sections of the U.S. Shipping Act. It also certifies that the NVOCC understands it must use only FMC licensed companies to act as its agents in the United States. The FMC maintains a current listing of all licensed OTI’s on its website at http://www2.fmc.gov/oti/

Here at DPI, we are assisting with the preparation and FMC filing of the Form FMC-65 for each of our NVOCC members who are required to file it. More importantly, we provide our expert guidance on best practices for compliance with the FMC regulations and the Shipping Act.

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FMC Authorizes Use of NRAs by NVOCCs Outside the USA

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has issued a new final rule authorizing the use of NVOCC Negotiated Rate Agreements (NRAs) by registered NVOCCs outside the USA. NRAs were authorized for use by licensed NVOCCs in the USA in April 2011. FMC Docket 11-22 amends the FMC regulations in 46 CFR Part 532 to give NVOCCs outside the USA the option to use NRAs effective July 19, 2013.

NRAs are written and binding arrangements between a shipper and an NVOCC to provide specific transportation service for a stated cargo quantity, from origin to destination, on and after a stated date or within a defined time frame. The NRA must be agreed in writing by both parties before the NVOCC receives any shipments under the NRA. Before an NVOCC can begin utilizing NRAs, it must take five key steps. These are reviewed by the FMC on its NRA web page. When properly used, NRAs replace tariff rate filing, but do not replace tariff rules.

NRAs are not required by the FMC. They are optional. NVOCCs who prefer to use tariff rates or NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs) to document their selling rates and charges for ocean shipments to/from the USA may continue to do so. DPI assists its members with all the NRA requirements; follow this link to view a short video about our NRA Management System (NRAMS) – it manages NRAs on a user-friendly web based platform and integrates tariff rules. For additional information or to ask us to file the “NRA Rule” in your FMC tariff, please contact your DPI Account Representative.

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Federal Maritime Commission to Share US Customs ACE Data

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the recent signing of an Automated Commercial Environment-International Trade Data System (ACE-ITDS) memorandum of understanding (MOU) to share ACE-ITDS data in order to strengthen the balance of facilitation and enforcement regarding the regulation of ocean carriers and other entities involved in ocean trade.
The MOU will allow data from CBP’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and other systems to be transferred directly to the FMC for use in fulfilling its statutory and regulatory duties and responsibilities. This direct transfer of data will conserve resources of both agencies and ensure compliance with the SAFE Port Act. The agreement, signed during a ceremony at the FMC on July 19, specifies the specific data elements to be shared, the legal authority of FMC to receive the data and the conditions under which FMC may use, store or share the information. ACE-ITDS trade data is protected by the Trade Secrets Act and both agencies are obligated under the agreement to properly safeguard the data.

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Several TSA Westbound Carrier Members File General Rate Increases Effective September 1, 2013

Several members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement Westbound (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223, whose member carriers serve the USA/East Asia trade lanes, have filed General Rate Increases (GRIs) in their FMC tariffs effective September 1, 2013.

The filed GRIs will increase rates on dry cargo by USD 80 per 20′ container, USD 100 per 40′ container and USD 113 per 45′ container. Carriers filing GRIs at these levels include CMA-CGM, Evergreen Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, and OOCL. Some Carriers, including Evergreen Line and OOCL have filed higher GRI amounts for shipments to the Philippines from Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland, CA, viz: USD 160 per 20′ container, USD 200 per 40′ container and USD 225 per 45′ container.

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Transpacific Eastbound Carriers Delay PSS, File General Rate Increases Effective September 1, 2013

Several members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223 serving the East Asia/USA trade lanes, have delayed implementation of Peak Season Surcharges (PSS). Earlier this summer many of the TSA member carriers filed rules in their FMC tariffs to implement a PSS of USD 400 per FEU effective August 1, 2013. Evergreen Line and OOCL have now delayed the effective date of their PSS until August 15. For Hyundai Merchant Marine, the effective date of the PSS for shipments from Japan is delayed until September 1, and for the Indian-Subcontinent PSS is delayed until August 15, but for all other origins in Asia PSS is effective August 1. Hanjin Shipping has delayed the effective date of its PSS from Japan and the Indian-Subcontinent until September 1. Some TSA member carriers have left their tariff rules for this PSS in place, but have amended some tariff rates and service contracts to delay the effective date.

Several TSA carrier members have filed a GRI of USD 400 per 40-foot container (FEU) to the U.S. West Coast and USD 600 per FEU to all other U.S. destinations, effective September 01, 2013. The GRI is for full container loads (FCL) only. Some NVOCCs have filed a GRI for less than container load (LCL) shipments of USD 7/WM for U.S. West Coast destinations and USD 9/WM for all other destinations. These developments indicate the peak shipping period expected by the TSA Carriers has not yet developed this year, but their need for increased freight revenues has prompted yet another GRI.

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