Bureau of Certification and Licensing
Vern W. Hill
James A. Nussbaumer
BCL is responsible for the Passenger Vessel Certification and Ocean Transportation Intermediary programs. BCL is composed of two offices, the Office of Passenger Vessels and Information Processing and the Office of Transportation Intermediaries (OTI) .
The Office of Passenger Vessels and Information Processing (OPVIP): OPVIP issues certificates to operators of passenger vessels with 50 or more berths and that embark passengers from U.S. ports (PVOs). Find out more information in the PVO Questions section of the website. The Certificate (Performance) evidences that the PVO has on file with the Commission acceptable coverage to satisfy any liability incurred for nonperformance of transportation, such as when a PVO declares bankruptcy and fails to complete the cruises booked. The coverage is used to reimburse passengers when the PVO fails to perform cruises as contracted and has taken no further actions to refund passengers. The Certificate (Casualty) evidences that the PVO has acceptable coverage to satisfy any liability incurred for death or injury on file with the Commission.
OPVIP also receives, reviews and processes all OTI bonds and bond riders. Information regarding these issues can be found at Bond Program Information. OPVIP also processes all revocations, surrenders, recissions of revocation and reissuances of OTI licenses. OPVIP also manages the Regulated Persons Index (RPI) and the list of FMC Licensed & Bonded OTIs.
The Office of Transportation Intermediaries:The Office reviews all applications for OTI Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) and OTI Ocean Freight Forwarder licenses and, after investigation, recommends the issuance of the licenses to qualified applicants. After approval, OTI licenses are issued to applicants upon receipt of acceptable proof of financial responsibility usually in the form of a surety bond. When appropriate, the Office recommends denial. For further information please consult the OTI Questions section of the website.