FMC Commissioner William Doyle detailed revisions incorporated in a soon-to-be published proposed rule.
Amendments to regulations governing ocean transportation intermediary (OTI) licensing and financial responsibility requirements, and general duties “are just about ready to be published” in the Federal Register, according to Federal Maritime Commissioner William P. Doyle
Doyle told a Government Affairs Conference of the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America on Monday that a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking “looks substantially different” then it did when the FMC voted to allow the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to move forward in May, 2013.
Doyle said some of the changes are:
- All proposed financial responsibility increases have been dropped.
- New potential qualifications for OTIs and their qualifying individuals (QI) have been dropped.
- The requirement to replace a QI if he or she dies, retires or resigns will remain 30 days and will not be shortened.
- Additional grounds for revoking or suspending licenses and registrations of foreign-based NVOCCs have been dropped.
- A proposed tiered claim and claim-processing system that would give shippers priority to the proceeds of an OTI’s financial responsibility has been deleted. The current and existing rules covering claims and claim-processing remain unchanged.
- A proposed requirement that OTIs restore their financial responsibility to the full required amount within 60 days of a claim being paid against has been dropped.
- Proposed requirements for common carriers and marine terminal operators to notify the FMC of court or other transportation claims against OTIs, as well as the requirement that such notifications be published on the FMC website, have been eliminated.
- Requirements for additional documentation for OTIs and agents, including a requirement for agency agreements to be in writing, have been deleted.
- A potential provision establishing a rebuttable presumption that an agent acts on its own behalf if it does not include the name and license or registration number of an OTI on documents the agent issues has been removed.
- A proposed new requirement on OTIs to include their license and registration numbers in their advertisements and to require their agents to include the principals’ names and addresses in their advertising has been dropped.
- A requirement related to false and misleading information in advertisements has been removed.
- A proposed provision establishing a rebuttable presumption that an entity has performed the services that it has advertised has been dropped.
- The proposed fees for renewing OTI licenses and registrations have been dropped.
- The proposal for a Certificate of Good Standing to be submitted for renewals has been dropped.
- The proposal for considering a new NVOCC license category for those operating only in the so-called “barrel trade” has been dropped. Barrel trade is a term commonly used to describe the the shipment of household and personal goods. For example, many immigrants ship goods to family or friends in their home countries using NVOCCs that specialize in the barrel trade.
- Licenses and registrations can be renewed every three years as opposed to every two years. Doyle said the renewal forms will be entirely on-line and user friendly
Doyle said the requirement that common carriers verify OTI licenses and registrations, tariff publication and financial responsibility, provided such verifications can be made at a single location on the commission’s website, will be retained as will a new expedited hearing procedure.