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International Trade Alert

Yesterday the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) voted to approve the Final Rule amending the regulations governing NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs) and NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs). The Final Rule will be published and take effect this summer.

As described in greater detail in Venable's previous alert when this rulemaking was proposed, the new rule will result in the following changes:

For NSAs
  • Eliminates the filing requirement; and
  • Eliminates the "essential terms" publication requirement.

For NRAs

  • Allows NRAs to be amended at any time;
  • Allows an NRA to contain economic terms beyond rates; and
  • Allows a booking request to constitute formal "acceptance" of an NRA.

The FMC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for these changes in November 2017. The agency accepted comments from the shipping industry on the rulemaking in late January of this year.

Please contact Venable's International Trade and Logistics Group if you would like further information about this change and its potential impact on your business operations.