Federal Maritime Commission

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. international ocean transportation system for the benefit of U.S. exporters, importers, and the U.S. consumer. The FMC deals with license, penalty appeals, and bond issues in hopes to foster a fair, efficient and reliable international ocean transportation system and to protect the public from unfair and deceptive practices. We represent shippers, forwarders, NVOCCs and other carriers in matters related to:

  • Obtaining Federal licenses for shipping companies.
  • Performing test audits for OTIs to monitor compliance.
  • Obtaining relief from ocean shipping practices or disputes that impede the flow of commerce.
  • Ensuring common carriers’ tariff rates and charges are published in private, automated tariff systems and electronically available.
  • Monitoring rates, charges, and rules of government owned/controlled carriers to ensure they are just and reasonable.
  • Helping resolve disputes involving shipment of cargo, personal or household goods, or disputes between cruise vessel operators and passengers.
  • Investigating and ruling on complaints regarding rates, charges, classifications, and practices of common carriers as well as Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs) that violate the Shipping Act.

Below you will find a series of links available for download: these include pieces of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), rules regulating Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) and Negotiated Service Arrangements (NSAs), as well as examples of NRAs and NSAs. This information is often used supplementary to presentations when we host a seminar regarding the Federal Maritime Commission. We hope you find these links to be helpful, and feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

CFR PART 515—General Duties For Ocean Transportation Intermediaries

CFR PART 520—Carrier Automated Tariffs

CFR PART 531—NVOCC Service Arrangements

NRA Final Rules

Prohibited Acts

Sample NRA

Sample NSA