Transportation & Federal Maritime Commission Compliance
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is an independent federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. ocean transportation system for the benefit of U.S. exporters, importers and the U.S. consumer.
By administering and enforcing the Shipping Act of 1984, as amended, and its implementing regulations, the FMC ensures a competitive and reliable ocean transportation system that supports the U.S. economy and protects the public from unfair and deceptive practices.The FMC’s Office of Transportation Intermediaries (OTI) reviews all new and change applications for non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) and ocean freight forwarder (OFF) licenses.
It investigates applicants and potential Qualifying Individuals and makes recommendations for the issuance of licenses to operate as an NVOCC, and OFF, or both. Those who are licensed both as an NVOCC and an OFF are collectively referred to as OTI’s. The FMC’s Bureau of Enforcement investigates licensees and issues fines and penalties for non-compliance and violations of U.S law and regulation. Monetary fines can be substantial. The FMC publishes on its website the names of those who are found to have violated the U.S. Shipping laws and regulations and may restrict the ability of violating OTI’s from continuing to handle international shipments.
- Preparing and filing new and change OTI applications
- Representing OTI’s in FMC investigations and hearings
- Registering OTI’s triennially with the FMC
- Advising OTI’s of changes in FMC rules and regulations, upon request
- Advising OTI’s on obtaining bonds and securing tariff publication
- Advising and training OTI’s on best practices to ensure compliance with statutory and regulatory obligations
- Conducting risk review evaluations of OTI’s procedures and operations and making recommendations for strengthening weaknesses