Appellate court dismisses NSA challenge
In what could be one of the last acts in the battle for shippers, associations with non-vessel-operating common carrier members to enter into confidential contract, a federal appellate court has dismissed a court case centered on the legality of NVOCC Service Arrangements, or NSAs.
The American Institute for Shippers Associations (AISA) and one of its members, the International Shippers Association ISA), had challenged a Federal Maritime Commission restriction against NSAs for shippers associations with NVOCC members in a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The FMC subsequently changed its rules regarding NSA in October 2005, but the court case was still pending. The AISA and the ISA had asked that the case be dismissed, and the court has now granted that request.
“The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has removed the last remaining cloud over the use of NVOCC Service Arrangements,” a statement issued Tuesday by the AISA said.
Although the FMC final ruling on NSA basically cleared up the matter, the Appeals Court could have ruled that the original restrictions against shippers, associations with NVO members was valid, creating new legal problems.
“As a practical matter, the court’s action now ends the challenges to the legality of NSAs and removes the last cloud over whether the FMC’s action was authorized. NVOCCs, shippers, and shippers’ associations are now free to enter into and use NSAs without concerns that the appellate court may ultimately find them unlawful,” the AISA noted.