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FMC moves forward with regulatory reform in global ocean cargo arena

Score a victory for freight intermediaries seeking to reduce regulatory obstacles in the ocean cargo arena.The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) took an important step in its regulatory reform efforts this week when it voted to advance a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that simplifies and streamlines its Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) Service Arrangements (NSA) and Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRA) rules and procedures.Through the NPRM, the Commission seeks feedback on three key proposals: ending the requirement for NSAs to be filed with the Commission; expanding the ability of NVOCCs and shippers to amend NRAs; and, finally, allowing the act of tendering cargo to be considered acceptance of a rate under the terms of an NRA.The NPRM will include a specific request for public comments addressing whether the Commission should expand the NRA rules to allow inclusion of non-rate economic terms.The NPRM will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks and will include instructions on how interested parties can file comments.“I am pleased that the Commission has taken this step to move forward on a petition to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens that increase complexity and costs in America’s ocean supply chain, said Acting Chairman Michael A.

Khouri.Logistics managers will no doubt echo that sentiment.Adds Khouri: “Ultimate adoption of these rules will makes NSAs and NRAs more useful for consumers in the marketplace.

Additionally, I hope to receive more comments on whether the rule could go further, as requested by NCBFAA in their petition, to expand the NRA to utilize non-rate commercial terms.”

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