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Obtaining a license from the Federal Maritime Commission to operate as Ocean Freight Forwarders (OFF) or Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) can be confusing and time-consuming.

AP Tariffs has assisted numerous U.S.-based companies or sole proprietors in their successful applications for OFF/NVOCC license.

There are three steps to apply for an FMC license:

1. Appoint a qualifying individual (QI)

What makes a good QI? They must:

* have at least three years of demonstrable OTI experience (gained in the United States); and

* be an officer of the applicant’s corporation, the sole proprietor of a sole proprietorship, the manager or member in (respectively) a manager-managed or member-managed LLC, or a partner in a partnership.

2. Submit electronically Form FMC-18

Form FMC-18 is the Application for a License as an Ocean Transportation Intermediary and it is divided into several parts, some of which are limited to certain types of application.

3. Pay the required license application fee. Do this when you have completed and submitted all parts of the application.

AP Tariffs can file applications on behalf of applicants to ensure the necessary information is provided to the FMC.

Want to know more? Start by emailing AP Tariffs today! We also offer a free 15-minute Zoom-based meeting here.

The Federal Maritime Commission ordered HSIN Silk Road Shipping LTD, a non-vessel operating common carrier, to pay a total of $76,361.41 to Goforth & Marti D/B/A GM Business Interiors. The amount comprises $74,000 in reparations and $2,361.41 in interest, which was due for payment April 5, 2023.

The FMC's decision was based on Goforth & Marti's complaint against HSIN, which alleged that HSIN violated the Shipping Act by imposing excessive fees.

Goforth & Marti's claim centered on HSIN issuing a bill of lading for cargo transport. After providing an initial estimated arrival date of November 6, 2021, HSIN revised it to March 10, 2022, and imposed extra fees linked to unforeseen costs related to the pandemic.

The Commission verified serving the Notice to HSIN's address and through email, but HSIN didn't respond to the Complaint, which led to a default judgment. The FMC determined that HSIN violated the Shipping Act and caused actual harm to Goforth & Marti due to its violations.

AP Tariffs provides its clients with compliance trainings, which is available in English, Spanish, Korean, or Chinese. Get in touch with us via email to know more about AP Tariff's services. Schedule your free 15-minute Zoom-based meeting here.

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) that do not publish a tariff, contrary to Federal Maritime Commission regulations (46 C.F.R. §520.3(a)) will soon find their names on the FMC website.

In a press release dated August 31, 2023, the Federal Maritime Commission said it will begin posting the names of these erring NVOCCs and the public is advised that the NVOCCs listed are at risk of the Commission taking steps to revoke their license or terminate their registration.

The initial list has 16 NVOCCs that do not have a tariff. The FMC requires all NVOCCs operating in the U.S. trades to publish a tariff (46 CFR § 520.3).

Atlantic Pacific Tariffs Inc. is currently the 5th largest tariff publisher for NVOCCs. It has partnered with various stakeholders in the industry to help more local and foreign companies become licensed and leverage their FMC licenses to get more advantageous contract rates directly from ocean carriers.

What sets AP Tariffs apart from other tariff publishers is the easy access it provides to clients for compliance trainings and consultations (up to 2 hours/month). This is a preventive measure to help customers avoid potential penalties that are now up to $14,149 per occurrence.

Email us today at or schedule a free 15-minute meeting here to learn more about our tariff publication services.

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