New changes to FMC rules and guidelines

freight forwarding

The Federal Maritime Commission, also known as FMC has proposed a new rule that would insight six significant changes to how carrier automated tariffs are administered. According to the FMC, this change will eliminate roadblocks and make the ocean transportation system more efficient. The new rule would also stop carriers from charging a fee to access their tariffs. 

As outlined, the rule proposes the following six steps.

  1. “Remove the option for ocean common carriers to charge a fee to access their tariff;
  2. “Allow non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) to cross-reference certain aspects of other carriers’ terms in their tariffs;
  3. “Clarify the ability for NVOCCs to reflect increases in certain charges passed through by other entities without notice;
  4. “Update the definition of co-loading to apply only to less than container loads;
  5. “Require that documentation be annotated with the names of all NVOCCs involved in a shipping transaction; 
  6. “Make other miscellaneous updates and clarifications to the regulation.” 

What does this mean moving forward?

Any comments on the new proposed rule should be submitted by June 9th, 2022.  Many believe that the process needs to be looked as a whole and that many carriers are already charging tariff fees at an alarming rate. Many view that importers and exporters are charged for extraneous things they can’t control, so why should they be charged for more information that is publicly available.