Home > About > Bureaus and Offices > Bureau of Trade Analysis (BTA) > How to File an Agreement and Agreement Types

How to File an Agreement and Agreement Types

On this page

Under the Shipping Act of 1984, vessel operating common carriers and marine terminal operators have the ability to engage in various activities through agreements filed with the Federal Maritime Commission. These agreements can cover activities such as vessel sharing arrangements and discussion of terminal operations and fees. The Federal Maritime Commission maintains a library of agreements currently in effect.

How to File Agreements


Agreements may be filed electronically using the eAgreements application. Please note that you will need a user account to file an agreement in this application.

User accounts can be requested by emailing tradeanalysis@fmc.gov with the following information:

  • Your name,
  • Email address, and
  • A brief description of the agreement you are seeking to file.

Preparing and Filing Ocean Common Carrier and Marine Terminal Agreements

Types of agreements


TypesDefinitionExample(s)
Vessel Sharing AgreementAn agreement between shipping lines to share vessel space in order to meet demand on specific trade lanes. The space available to each partner may differ from port to port and is controlled by the individual input of each company.CMA/Hapag Lloyd Vessel Sharing Agreement, No. 201373Eukor/K-Line Vessel Sharing Agreement, No. 012129
Global Vessel Sharing Agreement/AllianceThese agreements are functionally the same as vessel sharing agreements. An alliance, however, is far more global in nature and may include several different trade routes under the same terms.The OCEAN Alliance Agreement, No. 012426Maersk/MSC Vessel Sharing Agreement; No. 012293THE Alliance Agreement, No. 012439
Space Charter AgreementAn Agreement between ocean common carriers whereby a carrier/s agrees to provide vessel space for use by another carrier/s in exchange for compensation or services. The arrangement may include arrangements for equipment interchange and receipt/delivery of cargo, but may not include capacity rationalization.ONE/ELJSA Space Charter Agreement, No. 012474Hoegh Autoliners/Liberty Global Logistics Space Charter Agreement, No. 201375
Rate Discussion AgreementAn Agreement between ocean common carriers or between marine terminal operators that authorizes the discussion of or agreement on, either on a binding basis under a common tariff or on a non-binding basis, any kind of rate or charge.West Coast of South America Discussion Agreement, No. 011426West Coast MTO Agreement, No. 201143
Cooperative Working AgreementAn agreement between ocean common carriers or between marine terminal operators that establishes exclusive, preferential, or cooperative working relationships that are subject to the Act, but that do not fall precisely within the parameters of any specifically defined agreement.Cruise Lines International Association, No. 010071Oakland MTO Agreement, No. 201202
Assessment AgreementAn Agreement, whether part of a collective bargaining agreement or negotiated separately, that provides for collectively bargained fringe benefit obligations on other than a uniform man-hour basis regardless of the cargo handled or type of vessel or equipment utilized.NYSA-ILA Assessment Agreement, No. 201315
Conference AgreementAn Agreement between two or more ocean common carriers that provides for the fixing of and adherence to uniform tariff rates, charges, practices, and conditions of service relating to the receipt, carriage, handling and/or delivery of passengers or cargo for all members. The term does not include joint service, pooling, sailing, space charter, or transshipment agreements.Trans-Pacific American Flag Berth Operators, Agr. No. 008493
Equipment Discussion AgreementAn Agreement that focuses on the discussion, exchange and transportation of equipment, such as containers, chassis, barges and related equipment.Consolidated Chassis Pool Management Agreement, No. 011962
Joint Service AgreementAn Agreement between ocean common carriers operating as a joint venture whereby a separate service is established that; (i) Holds itself out in its own distinct operating name; (ii) Independently fixes its own rates, charges, practices, and conditions of service or chooses to participate under its operating name in another agreement that is duly authorized to determine and implement such activities; (iii) Independently publishes its own tariff or chooses to participate under its operating name in an otherwise established tariff; (iv) Issues its own bills of lading; and (v) Acts generally as a single carrier.Yang Ming Joint Service Agreement, NO. 201392
Joint Venture AgreementAn Agreement that establishes a contractual cooperation between two or more marine terminal operators, or between one or more marine terminal operators and one or more ocean common carriers, involving cooperative working relationships that are subject to the Act.Puerto Nuevo Terminals LLC Cooperative Working Agreement, No. 201292
Marine Terminal Facilities AgreementAn Agreement between two or more marine terminal operators, or between one or more marine terminal operators and one or more ocean common carriers, that conveys to any of the involved parties any rights to operate any marine terminal facility by means of lease, license, permit, assignment, land rental, or other similar arrangement for the use of marine terminal facilities or property.Marine Terminal Lease and Operating Agreement for Port Canaveral, Florida, United States of America Between Canaveral Port Authority and GT USA LLC, No. 201224
Marine Terminal Services AgreementAn Agreement between a marine terminal operator and an ocean common carrier that applies to marine terminal services that are provided to and paid for by an ocean common carrier.Marine Terminal Services Agreement – Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd., No. 201352