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FMC Announces Optional Electronic Method of Filing Form FMC-18

September 24, 2007

NR 07-05

CONTACT: Sandra Kusumoto, Director, Bureau of Certification and Licensing (202) 523-5843

The Federal Maritime Commission today announced a new optional electronic method for filing Form FMC-18, the Application for a License as an Ocean Transportation Intermediary ("OTI"). This optional filing method will contribute to a more efficient application review process and provide licensees and applicants with a convenient, user-friendly online filing system (accessible at this link: https://www2.fmc.gov/form18/). This system is also password-protected to ensure the security of information being submitted.

Previously, filing OTI license applications required an applicant to submit, via mail or courier, an original typewritten application and documentation, along with two copies, to the Bureau of Certification and Licensing. Now the applicant has the option to file the application using the new electronic method, which can save the applicant time and resources. Using this method, only the fee payment and the application signature page must be delivered by mail or courier; everything else will be submitted online.

In order to encourage the use of the online electronic filing method, the Commission will assess a lesser filing fee for those utilizing this method. The fees will be $250 for new applicants and $125 for existing licensees who might wish to use the electronic filing system to update their licensing records or to submit changes in the licensee's organization for which prior Commission approval is required. The use of the automated system will not be required; interested parties may continue to submit Form FMC-18 in paper format, and those filings will be received and processed in the same manner as before. If the Commission later determines to make electronic filing a requirement of all applicants, a notice and comment period would be provided.

In recent years, the Commission has moved towards the automation of many documents and processes. This new filing method is the latest in a series of automated procedures. Interested parties may learn more by reading the Final Rule on Optional Electronic Filing of Form FMC-18, OTI License Application.

The Federal Maritime Commission is responsible for the regulation of ocean-borne transportation in the foreign commerce of the U.S. Its core mission is to administer regulations and policies that foster a fair, efficient and secure maritime transportation system.

Press Contact: Bryant L. VanBrakle (202) 523-5725; e-mail: secretary@fmc.gov