How to File Service Contracts

A service contract (46 CFR § 530.3(q)) is a written contract, other than a bill of lading, 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.

An individual ocean common carrier or an agreement between or among ocean common carriers may enter into a service contract (46 CFR § 530.2) with one or more shippers. All service contracts, (with exception of exempt commodities) must be filed electronically in SERVCON, the FMC’s internet-based filing system for ocean common carrier service contracts and non-vessel-operating common carrier service arrangements (NSAs). This electronic filing system can be accessed through the FMC’s website. For more information on NSAs, see How to file NSAs.

When filing service contracts and publishing essential terms:


Contact Information

Service Contracts and Tariffs

Phone: 202-523-5856

Fax: 202-523-5867


Forms & Applications

Service Contract Registration (FMC-83)