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FMC Commissioner William P. Doyle Votes in Favor of Final Rule for OTIs

October 23, 2015

The Federal Maritime Commission approved in a 4 to 1 vote to move forward on a final rule related to OTIs at a public meeting on October 21, 2015.

"After several years of regulatory review, I am pleased that the Commission has come to a final rule related to Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs)." Commissioner Doyle continued: "As a Commission, we made significant revisions to the initial advanced notice of the proposed rule for OTIs. Based on the input during the public process, we have taken steps to protect consumers and the shipping public. Indeed, the Commission continues to focus on the critical problems in the supply chain, including protecting against bad actors that commit fraud by representing themselves as properly licensed FMC OTIs – when in fact they are not. Consumers and small businesses that use the services of intermediaries can be comforted by the fact the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission has taken steps to make sure that those who hold themselves out as legitimate businesses are in fact legally registered to conduct business."

Under the new rules, OTIs will be required to renew licenses every three years through a convenient on-line portal beginning in late 2016, and an expedited hearing process will be provided for license denials, revocations, or suspensions. Revision to the OTI rules was first proposed in May of 2013 in an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, and then in October 2014 a proposed rule was issued by the Commission. The Commission received extensive comment from the industry throughout the process.

A summary of the regulatory process can be found at: http://www.fmc.gov/doyle-votes-speechNCBFAA/.