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Office of Transportation Intermediaries

Aline Hull

The Office of Transportation Intermediaries (Office) is responsible for the review of applications for OTI licenses, investigation of the applicant and qualifying individual and recommendation for the issuance of the OTI licenses for ocean freight forwarder and non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) OTIs.

Applications (Form FMC-18) are filed by entities requesting a license for the first time as well as licensees reporting or requesting changes which may result in the issuance of amended licenses. Changes include alterations to name, business type or structure, change or addition of a qualifying individual, changes in address, and addition of a service to an existing license, e.g., adding NVOCC service to an ocean freight forwarder license.

Licenses are issued to a business entity and not to an individual, except in the case of a sole proprietor. Every licensee is required to have an individual identified as the Qualifying Individual (QI) who is of good character with a minimum of three years experience in OTI services and who is an active officer of the entity.

Licensees are required to provide proof of financial responsibility in the amount of $50,000 for an ocean freight forwarder license and $75,000 for an NVOCC license. 

Once licensed, OTI NVOCCs are required to file a Tariff Registration Form (FMC-1) with the Commission which notifies the Commission of the location of the NVOCCs electronically accessible tariff (CATS). The NVOCC must publish its tariff at that location in compliance with Commission rules at 46 CFR Part 520. If the NVOCC is a shipper party to a service contract with a vessel operating common carrier, it must comply with the requirements of 46 CFR Part 530. Questions regarding filing Form FMC-1, publishing tariffs or entering into service contracts should be addressed to the Office of Service Contracts & Tariffs.

OTI licenses are issued pursuant to the Commission's rules at 46 CFR Part 515 and section 19 of the Shipping Act of 1984, as amended.