How to File Service Contracts and NSAs

Regulations governing service contracts and NSAs

Every time a carrier signs a contract to transport goods for a shipper it must file a confidential service contact through SERVCON, the Commission's automated service contract filing system.

What is a Service Contract?

Service contracts are between a shipper and an ocean common carrier or an ocean common carrier agreement in which the shipper commits to provide a certain minimum quantity of cargo over a fixed period of time and the ocean common carrier or the ocean common carrier agreement commits to a certain rate or rate schedule and a defined level of service.

Service contracts and their related amendments and notices must be filed confidentially with the FMC. The Commission monitors service contract filings for acts prohibited by the Shipping Act of 1984. Original signed service contracts, amendments, and associated records must be maintained for five years from the termination of the contract and be made available to the Commission for audit upon request.

What is an NSA?

Non-vessel-operating common carriers Service Arrangements (NSAs) are written contracts between NVOCCs and Shippers. NSAs must be filed by NVOCCs in SERVCON in conjunction with the essential terms publication. The Commission uses filed NSAs and associated data for monitoring and compliance purposes.

How to File Service Contracts and NSAs

  • All service contracts and NSAs must be filed through SERVCON.
  • SERVCON is the Commission's automated filing system.  
  • VOCCs and NVOCCs must register for an account with SERVCON to begin using the system.
    • VOCCs filing Service Contracts: Complete and submit Form FMC-83
    • NVOCCs filing NSAs: Complete and submit Form FMC-78

Automated Web Service with SERVCON

The FMC has developed a Web Service that VOCCs and NVOCCs can use to incorporate the filing of service contracts into their own contract management systems (CMS). This web service eliminates the need for separate entry of data into SERVCON by automating the submission of contract data from the filer's CMS.

Using the web service will reduce the amount of time needed to file with the FMC and will reduce the occurrences of typographical errors in submissions by removing the need for double-entry of contract data in the CMS and SERVCON.

For more information on implementing the SERCVON web service:

  • Instructions on implementation
  • Contact Andrew Gaidurgis, Office of Information Technology


Contact Information

Service Contracts and Tariffs

Phone: 202-523-5856

Fax: 202-523-5867


Forms & Applications

Service Contract Registration (FMC-83)

Common Carrier Tariff and MTO Schedule Registration(Form FMC-1)

NVOCC Service Arrangement Registration (FMC-78)