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No Service Contracts for Non-Compliant OTIs

Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) and Ocean Freight Forwarders (OFFs) must meet compliance obligations before they can do business with Common Carriers, including Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (VOCCs).

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) reminded Common Carriers to verify that NVOCCs and OFFs are fully compliant with all applicable regulatory and statutory requirements before accepting or transporting cargo for their accounts. This includes meticulous checks regarding licensing, registration, tariffs, and financial responsibility. Failure to adhere to these obligations may result in serious consequences, including fines and penalties.

To ensure fair and responsible practices, VOCCs are also urged to verify the compliance status of NVOCCs before entering into any Service Contract with them. The FMC directs industry players to refer to specific guidelines provided in 46 C.F.R. § 530.6 for a comprehensive understanding.

Additionally, the FMC strongly prohibits NVOCCs from knowingly and willfully engaging in an NVOCC Service Arrangement with another NVOCC that does not meet all the necessary statutory and regulatory requirements. Violations of this prohibition, as stated in 46 C.F.R. § 531.6(c), will be taken seriously.

The FMC maintains comprehensive lists of licensed NVOCCs and OFFs, including foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs that have registered, along with records of each NVOCC's tariff location. This information serves to facilitate compliance and ensure transparency within the sector.

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