The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


Results of Commission Meeting

March 9, 2000



Washington, D.C. 20573

NR 00-04

 CONTACT: Bryant L. VanBrakle, Secretary, at (202) 523-5725.

FOR RELEASE: March 9, 2000

At the open portion of its March 8, 2000 meeting, the Commission determined to take the following actions. These actions will not be effectuated until appropriate documents implementing them are prepared and issued.

Docket No. 99-10 - Ocean Common Carriers Subject to the Shipping Act of 1984

Upon consideration of the record in this proceeding, the Commission determined to adopt the proposed rule, which would define the term "ocean common carrier" to mean "a common carrier that operates, for all or part of its common carrier service, a vessel on the high seas or the Great Lakes between a port in the United States and a port in a foreign country, except that the term does not include a common carrier engaged in ocean transportation by ferry boat, ocean tramp, or chemical parcel-tanker."

Carrier Automated Tariff Systems: Tariff Accessibility Audit and Issues.

The Commission directed the staff to prepare the following with regard to tariff publication systems:

- an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on fees for access to carrier tariff systems; and

- a public announcement and circular letter of the Commission's intention to enforce its regulations if the following tariff access problems are not corrected voluntarily:

-- adequate user instructions;

-- adequate retrieval capabilities, including a commodity index and a search feature which results in the commodity or a commodity index list;

-- access to historical information by the use of an access date;

-- tariff access software which is not unduly burdensome or time consuming to use; and

-- integrity in tariff information, particularly with regard to:

--- tariff publishers publishing tariffs for non-vessel-operating ocean transportation intermediaries ("NVOCCS") that do not have surety bonds;

--- tariffs of NVOCCs that do not contain current bond information;

--- tariff publishers publishing tariffs as if they were currently in effect when the tariffs were in fact canceled;

--- tariff publishers publishing tariffs for carriers that have not filed an FMC-1 Form or do not have licenses;

--- tariff publishers filing FMC-1 Forms allegedly on behalf of carriers that have actually published tariffs through different tariff publishers; and

--- tariffs that contain no rates or only Cargo, NOS rates.

Docket No. 99-23 - In the Matter of a Single Individual Contemporaneously Acting as the Qualifying Individual for Both an Ocean Freight Forwarder and a Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier

Upon consideration of the record in this proceeding, the Commission determined to adopt the proposed rule, which would allow affiliated companies to have the same qualifying individual to obtain a license as an ocean transportation intermediary; amend the definition of "branch office" by removing the last sentence of the definition which states that the term does not include a separately incorporated branch office; and to republish a certification process as required by 21 U.S.C. ยง862, which provides that Federal benefits shall be withheld in certain circumstances from individuals who have been convicted of drug distribution or possession in Federal or state courts.