FIATA: æLevel playing fieldÆ for foreign NVOs
The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) is demanding that foreign non-vessel-operating common carriers under the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission rules be allowed to enter into negotiated rate arrangements (NRAs) with customers.
Beginning Monday, the FMC is exempting licensed NVOs that enter into NRAs from tariff rate publication requirements in the 1984 Shipping Act. This means the agreed rate would be confidential, and not disclosed to other shippers or NVOs.
But FIATA said, “non-U.S. based NVOCCs which are registered with the FMC, but not licensed, are not eligible to utilize the new NRA option and must continue to move all shipments to/from the USA under publicly available tariff rates, or they may utilize NVOCC Service Arrangements.”
The new rule “constitutes some progress for USA-based NVOCCs,” said FIATA, but it complained “it creates a competitive disadvantage for non-USA-based NVOCCs. In general, shippers do not use NVOCC tariffs. The maintenance of such tariffs serves no purpose and imposes additional costs on NVOCCs.”
“Foreign NVOCCs are also disadvantaged by more stringent bond posting requirements than U.S. license holders,' said Christopher J. Gillespie, chairman of FIATA's Multimodal Transport Institute.
FIATA noted its U.S. members, the Transportation Intermediaries Association and the National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, have protested the new ruling and the competitive distortion.