FMC PROPOSES ELECTRONIC SERVICE CONTRACT CORRECTION PROCESS
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission proposes to allow authorized electronic service contract filers to make online corrections resulting from transmission errors.
The FMC started its electronic service contract filing system, SERVCON, in May 1999. There are about 200 persons registered to transmit service contract filings on behalf of 150 vessel-operating common carriers.
“Current regulations provide for the amendment, correction and cancellation of service contract filings,” the agency said. “The commission, however, has become aware of a need to provide filers the ability to correct purely electronic ‘transmission errors’ made when filing either the original service contract or an amendment to a service contract into SERVCON, or errors made in the process of converting the service contract filing into electronic forma for submission to the SERVCON system.”
Examples of filer-generated transmission errors that would be allowed for correction under the proposed rule include incorrect header information, wrong service contract numbers, and wrong files transmitted. Corrections must be made within 48 hours after the initial service contract filing.
“A new field would be added to the online database as a checkbox for the filer to identify the submission as a corrected service contract,” the FMC said. “If the filer fails to use this new checkbox, the contract will be rejected because the SERVCON system will not accept service contracts that have duplicate file names, service contract or amendment numbers.”
The FMC will not allow filers to use the proposed correction process to change rates, delete service ports or commodities to be carried under contracts, remove shippers entitled to service contracts, or modify minimum quantity commitment of the contracts. These service contract amendments would require filers to submit formal change requests to the agency.
In addition, the FMC’s Bureau of Trade Analysis will continue to monitor filers’ use of the correction process.
“There is no commission action involved in the process to correct electronic transmission errors that are caused by failures in the hardware or software used by the filers,” the FMC said. “Therefore, no fee is being proposed for use of this overwrite function in the SERVCON system.”
The industry will have until the end of April to comment on the FMC’s proposed rulemaking. For more information, contact Florence Carr, director of the FMC’s Bureau of Trade Analysis, at (202) 523-5796.