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FMC Tariff Publication

Distribution-Publications, Inc. also known as DPI, provides a professional service for Ocean Carriers, NVOCCs and Terminal Operators subject to the tariff publication regulations of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). This includes :

* Tariff publication in compliance with FMC Regulations.
* Timely confirmation of via e-mail and web.
* Publication of comprehensive tariff page documents in traditional format.
* FMC-compliant maintenance of tariffs on an Internet accessible database.

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FMC Publication Requirements

Who needs to publish a tariff?

- VOCC and NVOCC Tariffs: Each Vessel Operating Common Carrier (VOCC) or Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) serving the foreign commerce of the USA must publish a tariff listing "all rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices." Tariffs must meet detailed requirements enforced by the FMC. These rates must include current freight rates. DPI provides a convenient and cost-effective tariff publication service that meets all FMC requirements issued in 46 CFR Part 520. For new carriers, we offer a tariff that provides all FMC required rules, the full text of your bill of lading, and commonly used commercial regulations.

- MTO Tariffs: Each Marine Terminal Operator (MTO) subject to the Shipping Act, may at its discretion, may make available to the public a tariff providing a schedule of its rates, regulations, and practices. DPI provides a complete tariff publication service for marine terminal operators in compliance with FMC regulations issued in 46 CFR Part 525. DPI publishes terminal tariffs on the web, in hard copy and in Adobe PDF formats.

To view examples of VOCC , NVOCC and Terminal Tariffs published by DPI, please enroll for a free Member ID, login, and select tariffs.

FMC Penalties for Non-Compliance
The FMC requires publication of all freight rates charged by ocean common carriers and NVOCCs on both exports and imports. Tariff publication is legally required in the USA. Also, FMC prohibits all common carriers from providing any service that is not in accordance with the rates, charges, classifications, rules and practices contained in their published tariffs, or in a service contract, NRA or NSA that satisfies FMC regulations.

The FMC's Bureau of Enforcement has full time investigators based in Miami, New Orleans, Houston, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, DC. While it does not have staff outside the USA, the FMC obtains detailed information on import shipments from the US Customs Service. For more information and specific examples, please see our SIGNALS newsletters.

Penalties for non-compliance are assessed according to Section 41107 of the Shipping Act:
41107. Monetary penalties
(a) IN GENERAL.—A person that violates this part or a regulation or order of the Federal Maritime Commission issued under this part is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty. Unless otherwise provided in this part, the amount of the penalty may not exceed $5,000 for each violation or, if the violation was willfully and knowingly committed, $25,000 for each violation. Each day of a continuing violation is a separate violation.

These penalties are adjusted from time to time due to inflation.  The most recent adjustment was effective July 11, 2014; it increased penalties to $9,000 and $45,000 respectively.  Please note NVOCC bonds may be used by FMC to satisfy penalties.
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DPI Tariff Publication

New Tariff Publication by DPI

DPI has published thousands of tariffs for clients around the globe. When you publish your tariff with DPI, we ensure more than just basic compliance with FMC tariff regulations. Our multilingual staff will recommend cost-effective tariff filing strategies, and show you how filing rates in your tariff can help you maximize your company's efficiency. Our online system allows for 24/7 access to tariff information and our simplified Filing Request Form makes rate filing easy and efficient.

Call or email DPI today to learn how we can help your company not only comply with FMC tariff publication requirements, but take advantage of tariff rate data to streamline your business and get a competitive edge.
Request a Proposal

Transfer an Existing Tariff to DPI

Lost in a sea of regulation? DPI has helped hundreds of clients with existing tariffs make the move to DPI and gain the knowledge they need to comply with U.S. Federal Maritime Regulations while increasing efficiency and lowering costs. We serve Ocean Carriers, NVOCCs, and Marine Terminal Operators.

Transferring an existing tariff to DPI is easy, call today to speak with a representative about how we can help you maintain a compliant tariff without compromising your company's goals.
Request a Proposal

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PDF Tariffs

Tariffs published by DPI are provided to tariff owners as PDF files. The PDF tariffs provide a complete copy of the tariff as of the PDF issue date. The layout of the PDF tariffs is identical to the traditional printed tariffs published by DPI, and may be easily printed. All the benefits of the traditional tariff page format are provided, plus the PDF tariffs provide a unique system of bookmarks and indexes that allow for quick access to tariff rules and commodity rates. Updated PDF tariff files are available on CD-ROM disks, or via download from the DPI web site.

- How do I download a PDF tariff from

Members may download their PDF tariffs at any time form our website. Just click on the Members link above. If you have difficulty downloading, please contact DPI for assistance.

Click here to see a sample PDF tariff.
Sample Tariff

- What is Adobe Acrobat Reader?The Adobe Acrobat Reader is used to view, navigate and print PDF tariffs. This software is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, and runs efficiently within a web browser, or as a stand-alone application. Adobe's technology provides superb print quality, and is compatible with most printers. Once a PDF file is downloaded, or copied from a CD-ROM, retrieval is very fast and user friendly. Accessibility is not limited by the speed of your Internet connection, or network congestion. For many tariffs and tariff users the PDF tariff files are far more efficient than web site access.

To download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader or for more information on Adobe's outstanding products please click the icon below:

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Excel Rate Reports

DPI provides each client with Excel Rate Reports. The Excel Rate Report provides all rates on file in the tariff as of the Report issue date. The layout of the Excel Rate Report may be easily printed, sorted and edited to your specifications. Customized Excel Rate Reports can be sent directly to you or your staff. Please speak to a DPI representative for more information.

Click here to see a sample Excel Rate Report.
Sample Excel

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Confirmation Report

DPI issues each client a comprehensive Confirmation Report to confirm tariff filing completion. These Reports are sent out to each client via email the day following tariff filings and are also available 24/7 via our web site. The Confirmation Report includes all filings made on behalf of the client on the date the Report was issued.

Click here to see a sample Confirmation Report.
Sample Confirmation Report

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Price List

Distribution-Publications, Inc. (DPI) provides a professional service for Ocean Carriers, NVOCCs and Marine Terminal Operators subject to the tariff publication regulations of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). DPI's services are as follows:

FMC Registration and AmendmentsPer Filing
Initial FMC Registration Fee - New VOCC or NVOCC Outside the USA $ 150.00
Form FMC-65 Initial Filing or Renewal - NVOCCs Outside the USA $ 50.00
Form FMC-1, FMC-65, FMC-78, or FMC-83 Amendment $ 15.00
FMC Tariff ServicesPer Item Filed Per Day
Tariff Records, Location Groups $ 15.00
Tariff Rules, per rule $ 17.00
Commodity Items, including up to 10 TRI's per item
 •  Commodity Items and Rates requested via email or fax
 •  Commodity Items and Rates requested via
Excess TRIs (over 10 per commodity item filed)

$ 14.00
$ 12.00
$ 2.00
Publication Confirmation Reports, per report via fax or e-mail $ 0.50
NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs), per new NSA & ET $ 35.00
NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs), per amended NSA & ET $ 20.00
Service Contract (SC) and Essential Terms (ET) for VOCCs:
 •  SC/ET Documents and Terms, per term
 •  SC Processing, includes FMC filing and record keeping

$ 5.00
$ 25.00
FMC Regulation, License, and Tariff Consultation ServicesPer Hour / Application
FMC License Application Handling Fee $ 60.00 per hour
FMC Practitioner Regulatory Consultation Service Fee $ 120.00 per hour
FMC License Application Fees:
 •  FMC License Application Fee - New
 •  FMC License Application Fee - Amended

$ 250.00 per application
$ 125.00 per application


DATABASE MAINTENANCE: According to FMC regulations, all FMC-regulated Ocean Common Carriers, NVOCCs, and Marine Terminal Operators are required to maintain a complete and accurate record of each tariff published for five years. DPI maintains each customer's tariff in an Internet-accessible database in compliance with FMC regulations. To recover costs associated with this requirement we assess an annual fee of $432 per customer. DPI does not assess a minimum monthly fee; if a tariff is not updated, no charges are incurred beyond the annual database maintenance fee.

ADOBE PDF TARIFFS: Each tariff publishing customer is provided with their own tariffs in Adobe PDF format at no added charge. The Adobe PDF tariffs created by DPI provide complete tariff information in a single file using traditional tariff page format and bookmarks that make them easy to navigate. Please see PDFs or My Downloads on our web site for details.

ASSESSORIALS AND TABLES: As an optional service, DPI can provide assessorials and table programming to support "bottom-line rate” calculation used by ATFI compatible systems.

NEGOTIATED RATE ARRANGEMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: As an optional service, DPI offers an NRA Management System (NRAMS) to assist its licensed NVOCC customers with FMC requirements for Negotiated Rate Agreements (NRAs). This system maintains NRA history in a secure database and includes built-in quality controls to ensure NRA data is created and maintained in compliance with FMC regulations. The annual fee for NRAMS is $396.

REGULATORY CONSULTATION AND RESEARCH: As an optional service, DPI offers its expertise to clients in need of assistance with service contracts, agreements, Special Permission, Docket Applications, and OTI License Applications. The FMC license fees quoted herein are assessed by FMC and are subject to change by FMC.

SIGNALS™: All customers receive a complimentary subscription to SIGNALS™, the newsletter of Distribution-Publications, Inc., which provides detailed and timely information on new FMC regulations and enforcement activities.

WEB SITE ACCESS: Tariffs published by DPI are accessible at Tariff rules published by DPI are available to the public at no charge. Tariff publishing customers are provided with a User ID and password to access their own rate and rules tariffs at no added charge. Additional User IDs are available at a fee of $50 per quarter. Web access to all FMC rate tariffs published by DPI is available to the general public for a fee of $100 per month, with a minimum enrollment of three months (access to the tariff rules is free of charge to the public).

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:   All services are provided are subject to the terms and conditions, which are also printed on the reverse of our Price List.

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U.S. Federal Maritime Commission Regulations

* Shipping Act. This document contains the full text of the Shipping Act of 1984 with amendments made by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 (OSRA). This is the re-codified version of the Act as provided in 46 U.S.C. 40101 thru 41309.

* Complete FMC Regulations. This document contains the full text as published in the US Code of Federal Regulations 46-CFR Part 500 Series.

* Select the Electronic Reading Room on the FMC home page to get access to Dockets, Orders, Proposed and Final Rules, and other information made public by the FMC.

* FMC news releases may be viewed and searched accessed on its home page.

* An extensive and useful list of frequently asked questions and answers is provided by FMC via its home page.

* The FMC’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS) provides a number of services designed to assist shippers, carriers, cruise operators and other industry participants resolve commercial disputes or problems related to the business practices of regulated entities.  This Office can be contacted at tel: 202-523-5087 or email:

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The Federal Maritime Commission’s new rules on NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements established a new pricing option for licensed NVOCCs effective April 18, 2011. An NRA is a substitute for a tariff rate filing. It is used to document the rate agreed to by an NVOCC and a shipper for a shipment or shipments of a specific cargo quantity. The NRA must be agreed in writing by both parties before the NVOCC receives the shipment covered by the NRA. An NRA can be used to provide a freight rate for a specific commodity, or it can apply on Cargo, N.O.S., and thereby apply to all kinds of cargo tendered by the shipper who enters into it. An NRA can be effective for any time period, but cannot be changed after it is agreed by the parties.

On July 19, 2013 the FMC amended its regulations and made the NRA option available to all NVOCCs. FMC Docket 11-22 amended the FMC regulations in 46 CFR Part 532 to give NVOCCs outside the USA the option to use NRAs. Before an NVOCC can begin utilizing NRAs, it must amend its tariff rules, and make these accessible to NRA shippers free of charge. Follow this link for the NRA rule recommended by DPI. Then, once an NVOCC begins using NRAs, it must do three key things:

  • a. Change its rate quotation format to make these NRAs that comply with the new FMC regulations;
  • b. Obtain the NRA Shipper’s approval in writing for each shipment moving under an NRA;
  • c. Put procedures in place to maintain NRA records as required by the new regulations.

An NVOCC may do all this on its own, or utilize a third party to help. As an optional service, DPI offers an NRA Management System (NRAMS) to assist its Members with these requirements. Our NRAMS provides a menu driven procedure for creating new NRAs via a web browser, offering these to shippers, obtaining shipper acceptance, and updating status. It maintains NRA history in a secure database with appropriate data security. Quality controls built into NRAMS ensure all FMC required data is included. Easy access to your tariff rules, especially surcharge rules, is a key feature of NRAMS. Changes to NRA status are tracked by NRAMS and confirmed via automated emails.

Watch DPI's informational video on NRAs for information regarding the NRA requirements and a look at DPI's NRA Management System (NRAMS).

Click here to view a sample of an NRA created, saved and offered to an NRA Shipper via NRAMS.

The annual fee for NRAMS is US$ 396 – this provides unlimited use for one User ID, with no transaction fees. DPI Members who qualify can begin using NRAMS very quickly. If your company's tariff is maintained at you qualify. DPI already provides public access to your FMC tariff rules free of charge – this has been a standard part of our FMC tariff publishing services since May 1999. You will only need to add the NRA rule to your existing tariff, and agree to the terms and fees for NRAMS. Click on the button below or contact your DPI Account Representative to request the authorization agreement for NRAMS. We will send it to you promptly along with additional details that explain how NRAMS will provide you with a paperless solution for NRA management.

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While the NRA presents an attractive new pricing option for licensed NVOCCs, it does have three critical limitations. First, an NRA cannot be amended after it is agreed to by the shipper and the first shipment is received; at that point, the rates and surcharges agreed in the NRA are frozen and cannot change. Second, NRAs are not like service contracts or NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs) – they cannot provide for volume discounts, service guarantees, floating surcharges, GRIs, or other service terms that are not provided in the governing rules tariff. Third, NRAs are subject to inspection and reproduction requests by the FMC. The regulations require NVOCCs to produce requested NRAs promptly in response to any request by FMC. All records produced must be in English or be accompanied by a certified English translation. It is also very important to note all NVOCCs must continue to maintain tariffs - these are required by FMC for tariff rules, and for tariff rate history.

For more guidance on NRAs follow this link to an article written by James Devine of DPI that was published in The Journal of Commerce. The FMC also provides a web page that summarizes the NRA requirements and the steps an NVOCC must take in order to use NRAs. We are also pleased to link to an article written by a leading maritime attorney, Neal M. Mayer, that compares the three (3) options available to licensed NVOCCs for pricing (Rate Tariffs, NRAs and NSAs) and discusses the major benefits and detriments of each approach. See our NRA Management System information sheet for a summary of NRAs and NRAMS.

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