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Clarification: NVOCC Tariff Publication Requirements Unchanged Until Final Rule Issued

February 23, 2010

NR 10-06

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

The Federal Maritime Commission voted last week to initiate a rulemaking that would relieve Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) from the costs and burdens of publishing and adhering to tariffs that contain the rates they charge to ship cargo.  The Commission has received indications that some NVOCCs may have begun to implement such a change in their business operations.

This is to clarify that, until the exemption is published in the Federal Register in its final form and becomes effective, NVOCCs must continue to comply with the Commission's regulations as currently stated. Changes to the NVOCC tariff publication and adherence requirements will occur only after the Commission has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, considered public comments on that proposal, and published a Final Rule.

Current FMC rules pertaining to tariff publication and adherence can be found at 46 C.F.R. Part 520.  NVOCCs with questions about tariff publication and adherence requirements can contact the Commission's Bureau of Trade Analysis, Office of Service Contracts and Tariffs.