FMC Approves New Rule Reducing Maritime Trade Regulations

On Monday, March 6, 2017, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) voted unanimously to approve a new rule regarding Service Contracts and NVOCC Service Arrangements.  The new rule will reduce the regulatory burden on NVOCCs and other shippers by giving them more flexibility in filing Service Contracts and NSAs with the FMC.

Prior to the rulemaking, all contracts and amendments between shippers (and NVOCCs) and ocean carriers had to be filed with the FMC prior to going into effect.  The new rule allows such changes to be effective immediately as long as they are filed with the FMC within 30 days of the effective date.  Additionally, the FMC extended the allowable time for correcting technical data transmission errors from 48 hours to 30 days, and extended the period for filing a service contract correction request from 45 days to 180 days.

The new rule is the result of a multi-year effort by the FMC to identify unnecessary regulations and engage with industry stakeholders to better understand the needs of the marketplace.  Following an Executive Order for agencies to reduce regulations, one of the first Executive Orders issued by the new Trump Administration in January, the new rule will make it less expensive for businesses engaged in ocean transportation to ensure compliance with the law.

TIA’s International Logistics Conference is the policy committee that monitors all news and regulations for ocean and air freight, including developments at the Federal Maritime Commission.  For more information on this new rule, or to participate in TIA’s International Logistics Conference, contact Will Sehestedt at or 703-299-5713.