The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


Update: Final OTI Rules Published, Service Contract Rules to Move Forward for Comment

November 5, 2015

NR 15-17

Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary, (202) 523-5725

The Commission voted at its meeting yesterday to issue a final rule on ocean transportation intermediary (OTI) licensing and financial responsibility requirements, and directed staff to prepare an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking concerning service contracts and NVOCC service arrangements.

OTI Rules Updated:

Under the new rules, OTIs will be required to renew licenses every three years through a convenient on-line portal beginning in late 2016, and an expedited hearing process will be provided for license denials, revocations, or suspensions. Revision to the OTI rules was first proposed in May of 2013 in an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, and then in October 2014 a proposed rule was issued by the Commission. The Commission received extensive comment from the industry throughout the process.

Service Contract and NVOCC Service Arrangement Rules:

Separately in its closed session, the Commission determined to move forward to seek comment on its service contract rules to clarify, update, encourage leveraging technology, and provide regulatory relief where possible. The Commission will publish the proposal and request public comment later in the year. Review of the service contract rules was initiated in response to the President Obama’s call in Executive Order 13563 to conduct a retrospective review of existing regulations.

**Updated original News Release published 10/22/2015 to include link to Final Rules.

The Federal Maritime Commission is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.