The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission has proposed some of the most significant changes since 1998 to its regulations governing the licensing and regulation of Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs).
Key Parts of “The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” have been highlighted below in a brief summary of several amendments to the Regulations Governing OTI’s/NVOCC’s regarding Licensing, Financial Responsibilities, Shipment Documentation, Claims and General Duties.
OTI licenses and FMC registrations will be issued for two year terms.
The rule also requires registered NVOCCs to submit updated registration forms to renew for sequential two year terms. This is a significant change from the current OTI regulations, which have no requirement to renew the NVOCC registration or OTI license once granted.
Renewal process will require licensed OTIs to update their QIs identification and contact information
The proposed license and registration renewal requirement is intended to ensure that information essential to the Commission's oversight is verified regularly
The amended licensing regulations include specific requirements for the use of agents by OTIs.
The regulations clarify that OTIs are strictly responsible for the acts or omissions of their employees and agents, wherever they are located. Agents will be required to include the OTI principal's name and license number on all shipping documents, invoices, and business correspondence issued on behalf of the OTI.
Increased bond requirements and revises bond forms.
The ocean freight forwarder bond amount increases from US$ 50,000 to US$ 75,000. The licensed NVOCC bond amount increases from US$ 75,000 to US$ 100,000. Registered NVOCCs outside the USA will be required to increase their bonds from US$ 150,000 to US$ 200,000. In addition, new procedures for notifying the Commission of claims against bonds, and payments of claims, will be established.
Source: WCA World