• ITVI.USA
    15,845.180
    -15.980
    -0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.806
    0.013
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.590
    0.130
    0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,846.760
    -20.840
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,845.180
    -15.980
    -0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.806
    0.013
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.590
    0.130
    0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,846.760
    -20.840
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
American Shipper

NCBFAA: “NVOs-NIT League petition doesn’t go far enough”

NCBFAA: “NVOs-NIT League petition doesn’t go far enough”

NCBFAA: “NVOs-NIT League petition doesn’t go far enough”

   The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) has written to the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission to say a joint petition made Aug. 2 by the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) and the National Industrial Transportation League, which calls for the right of non-vessel-operating common carriers to sign service contracts with shippers, does not go far enough in relieving NVOs of regulatory burdens.

   In a letter dated Wednesday, Edward D. Greenberg, counsel to the NCBFAA, told the agency his association supports the aim of the petition on service contracts. But it did not sign onto the NIT League/TIA document because it believes their comments do not address all the issues.

   “The NCBFAA believes that the proposal set forth in the Joint Supplemental Comments does not go far enough in answering the most urgent needs of the NVOCC community as a whole,” Greenberg said. “Although that proposal would provide some short-term relief for those parties, the NCBFAA believes that more must be accomplished.”

   He cited continuing tariff-filing requirements, or the requirement to file new service contracts between NVOs and their customers with the FMC.

   “By imposing these requirements, the significant cost and inefficiencies and obligations that currently fall upon the NVOCC industry, have not been adequately addressed,” the NCBFAA counsel argued.

   The NCBFAA’s own petition to the FMC, filed more than a year ago, requested an exemption from the tariff-filing requirements of the Shipping Act for NVOs. The association of NVOs considers tariff-filing to be a futile costly exercise. A continued requirement for service contract filing and for publication of essential terms tariffs by NVOs serves no valid public policy, the association said.

   “While the requirement of this nature may provide a facade of governmental oversight, in reality it would be an empty, albeit expensive and inefficient, gesture,” Greenberg said in the letter.

   “Over 60 NVOCCs submitted evidence detailing the rate negotiation process, the burdens and costs imposed by rate tariff publications, the inefficiencies and problems inherent in such an archaic system and the fact that such rate tariffs simply no longer serve any useful purpose,” Greenberg added.

   The NCBFAA letter is putting more pressure on the FMC to respond directly to the various exemption petitions filed by the NCBFAA and individual petitioning NVOs. Like the NIT League and the TIA, the NCBFAA asked for prompt action by the regulator.

   “Extensive evidence of the need for reform has been presented to the commission and supporting and opposing parties have had two separate opportunities to present their respective views; it now appears that a third round of filings is likely so that the industry is able to respond to the Joint Supplemental Comments,” the NCBFAA said. “The continued passage of time will yield nothing more than redundant ‘me-too’ submissions by other parties or NVOCCs that feel the need to file something in view of the commission’s silence on these issues.”

   The NCBFAA reiterated its view that the FMC has the authority to grant the exemptions asked by NVOs, and does not need to go through a formal rulemaking or fact-finding investigation to settle the issue.

   “To the contrary, such delays would only further postpone the day when clearly wasteful, inefficient regulation is lifted from the NVOCC industry,” Greenberg said.

   The NCBFAA rejected the view that, if NVOs are allowed to sign service contracts with shippers on a par with vessel operators, then they should also be required to file service contracts with the FMC for the sake of fairness. “Yet, it is perfectly clear that vessel-operating common carriers and NVOCCs are not equal in all other respects, not the least of which is the issue of antitrust immunity and the VOCCs’ favored status under the Foreign Shipping Practices Act,” the NCBFAA said.

   The NCBFAA letter to the FMC was copied and sent to the attorneys of the TIA, the NIT League, FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage, UPS, BAX Global, Ocean World Lines, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, DHL Danzas Air and Ocean, APL and the World Shipping Council, as well as to officials of the departments of Justice and Transportation.

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