Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Proposes Modernization of NVO Rules

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Richard Lidinsky Jr. outlined a proposal to overhaul FMC regulations covering NVOs at the annual meeting of the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America.  He said the FMC would begin discussing the modernization process for licensing, registration, and proof of financial liability for NVOs and freight forwarders in May.  The FMC will also discuss updating regulations pertaining to NVOCC service arrangements and negotiated rate agreements.

Lidinsky says he hopes that by streamlining the documentation process, it can eliminate some of the errors and headaches that plague NVOs.  Other proposed changes include exempting foreign, unlicensed NVOs from tariff-filing; adding negotiated rate agreements to include non-rate terms; and narrowing the current prohibition on amendments to these rate agreements.

Chairman Lidinsky concluded that the FMC is trying to balance the regulatory burdens of the NVOs with the duty to protect the maritime community against scams and unjust practices.  Stay tuned as more develops.