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Signals™ Headlines - October 4, 2005

FMC Amends NSA Regulations to Allow NVOCC-to-NVOCC Contracts: Docket 05-05

The Federal Maritime Commission announced a
Final Rulemaking amending the definition
of “NSA shipper” in the NVOCC Service Agreement (NSA) rules to include NVOCCs and Shippers’
Associations with NVOCC members. The new definition will read: “NSA shipper means a cargo
owner, the person for whose account the ocean transportation is provided, the person to
whom delivery is to be made, a shippers’ association, or an ocean transportation
intermediary, as defined in section 3(17)(B) of the Act, that accepts responsibility
for payment of all applicable charges under the NSA.”

During the comment period of the
Proposed Rulemaking in Docket 05-05
, Aug. 3-23,
the Commission received eight comments. The Fashion Accessories Shippers’ Association
made comments against the proposed rulemaking, stating among other objections that the
FMC lacks the authority to grant such exemptions. The World Shipping Council submitted
comments voicing concern that the proposed rule may enable NVOCCs to avoid the obligations
they have as common carriers under the regulations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
, specifically the 24-Hour Rule which requires carriers to submit vessel manifests
to CBP at least 24 hours prior to lading at a foreign port.

Comments in support of the Proposed Rulemaking included those of The United States
Department of Transportation, American Institute for Shippers’ Associations, Inc.,
International Shippers’ Association, BDP International, Inc.
and Carotrans International, Inc.
The Agriculture Ocean Transportation Coalition filed joint comments in support of the Proposed
Rulemaking together with BAX Global, Inc., FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage, Inc.,
the National Industrial Transportation League, North Atlantic Alliance Association, Inc.,
United Parcel Service,
and the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). Most
comments stressed that the new rule would lead to a more competitive environment for
NVOCCs who serve other NVOCCs. After review and discussion of comments received the
Commission found the Proposed Rulemaking would cause neither substantial reduction
in competition nor be detrimental to commerce. The FMC announced the Final Rulemaking
in Docket 05-05 Sept. 23. The rule will go into effect Oct. 28, 2005.

USSEC Implements GRI and Further Increases BAF

The carrier members of the United States South Europe Conference (USSEC) FMC Agreement
No. 202-011587, serving the trades between US Atlantic/Gulf Ports and South European
ports of Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Crete recently implemented
General Rate Increases and announced further adjustments to their Bunker Adjustment
Factor (BAF) surcharges.

GRI effective Oct. 1, 2005: Westbound: US$ 160/20′ container, US$ 200/40’/45′ container. Eastbound: US$ 200/20′ container, US$ 250/40’/45′ container.

BAF effective Nov. 1, 2005: US$ 401/20′ container, US$ 802/40′ container and 34
percent for cargo rated on a per unit, per weight ton, or WM basis. The current
BAF, in effect until Oct. 31, 2005 is US$ 323/20′, US$ 646/40′ and 27 percent for
cargo rated on a per unit, per weight ton, or WM basis.

USSEC Member Carriers are A.P.Moller-Maersk Sealand, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line
and P&O Nedlloyd Limited. Additional information on surcharges applied by the USSEC
carriers is available at http://www.ussec.com .

FMC Updates Website to Provide Extensive FAQ

The Federal Maritime Commission recently added an extensive FAQ section to its
website. The new FAQ page consists of 11 topics, including Common Carrier Tariffs,
Service Contracts, Administrative Law Judges and NVOCC Service Arrangements. Each
section has detailed explanation of FMC forms and filing procedures. The FAQ
answers questions ranging from “what is a Form FMC-1” to “where must a service
arrangement be filed?” Access the new FMC FAQ at


Peak Season is Trouble Free at Long Beach and Los Angeles

The recently implemented OffPeak program at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles is a big success.
reported that in the first two weeks of the program 30 percent of traffic was being
during off peak hours. OffPeak was initially implemented July 23
to reduce traffic congestions in and around the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
It has created night and weekend OffPeak shifts for container delivery and pick-up.
A recent survey by PierPASS found that trucks arriving to pick up or drop off containers
during OffPeak shifts spend less than 30 minutes on average inside the terminal gates.
A PierPASS survey of 126 truck drivers found that 73 percent of drivers said they
experienced an improvement in traffic since the program’s launch.

To recover costs associated with these extended operations PierPASS has implemented a
Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF). Most ocean carriers and NVOCCs filed rules in their tariffs
to recover the TMF when they pay it on behalf of shippers or consignees; some have added
additional TMF handling charges. The TMF assessed by PierPASS is US$ 40/20′ container and
US$ 80/40’/40’HC/45′ container. Some NVOCCs have added charge of US$ 3.00/WM for less
than container load cargo. Shippers and consignees may register with PierPASS and pay the TMF
directly. The TMF does not apply on cargo moving via rail through the Alameda Corridor
to/from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement Implements GRI and Increases BAF Again

The Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement (TACA), whose member carriers serve
the trade between the USA and North Europe, United Kingdom and Ireland, Scandinavia
and Baltic Ports, recently implemented General Rate Increases (GRI) and announced
further adjustments to their Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF):

GRI effective Oct. 1, 2005: Westbound: US$ 240/20′ container, US$ 300/40’/45′ container. Eastbound: US$ 160/20′ container, US$ 200/40’/45′ container.

BAF effective Sept. 16 thru Oct. 15, 2005:

Atlantic/Gulf Coast PortsPacific
Coast Ports
US$ 354/20′ containerUS$ 531/20′ container
US$ 708/40’/45′ containerUS$ 1062/40’/45′ container
US$ 35/WMUS$ 53/WM

BAF effective Oct. 16 thru Nov. 15, 2005

Atlantic/Gulf Coast PortsPacific
Coast Ports
US$ 423/20′ containerUUS$ 635/20′ container
US$ 846/40’/45′ container US$ 1270/40’/45′ container
US$ 42/WMUS$ 64/WM

BAF applies to/from or via port ranges as named. TACA members are Atlantic
Line, A.P. Moller-Maersk Sealand, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Mediterranean
Shipping Co.,
Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line, Orient Overseas Container Line,
and P&O
Nedlloyd Limited
Revisions to surcharges for transportation services are published in TACA’s
relevant FMC
tariffs and on its website:

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Vol. 9, No. 10, October 4, 2005

The information contained herein is
obtained from reliable sources.
It is subject to change at any time, however, depending on changes in
laws and regulations. While we continually attempt to monitor this
information, we do not guarantee its accuracy and are not responsible
for any damages suffered by any party in reliance on it.
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