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The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that has the potential to impact Ocean Freight Forwarders (OFF) and Non-vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs).  The proposed substantive changes to the current regulatory requirements cover several areas including how OTIs are licensed by the FMC, the financial responsibility requirements, and the operation of foreign-based NVOCCs.

If approved, the new rules would require a licensed OTI to renew that license every two years.  Currently, there is no expiration date for an OTI license.  Secondly, the new rule would increase the level of financial responsibility required to hold an FMC OTI license.  The surety or bond amount would increase by $25,000 for both OFFs and NVOCCs and by $50,000 for foreign-based NVOCCs.

The FMC has solicited comments on the proposed rule.  The initial deadline for submitting comments has been extended until August 30, 2013.  The complete text of the proposed rule and the comments received thus far can be viewed here.

If you desire to submit comments or to discuss how the proposed rules would affect your business operations, you may contact The Law Office of Eric Roper, PA here.