FMC Simplifies Negotiated Rate Arrangements

The Federal Maritime Commission revised its Negotiated Rate Arrangement (NRA) regulations to reduce recordkeeping requirements.   With immediate effect, the FMC is

a) eliminating the requirement for the shipper’s title and address in their written assent to rates,

b) eliminating the requirement that the bill of lading include a notice that a shipment is moving pursuant to an NRA; and

c) eliminating the requirement that an NVOCC retain all associated records and written communications pertaining to an NRA. List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 532

 

Accordingly, the Federal Maritime Commission amends 46 CFR Part 532 as follows:

PART 532 – NVOCC NEGOTIATED RATE ARRANGEMENTS

  1. The authority citation for Part 532 continues to read as follows:

AUTHORITY: 46 U.S.C. 40103.

  1. In § 532.5, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:

§ 532.5 Requirements for NVOCC negotiated rate agreements.

* * * * *

(b) Contain the names of the parties and the names of the representatives agreeing to the NRA;

* * * * *

  1. Revise § 532.6 to read as follows:

§ 532.6 Notices.

An NVOCC wishing to invoke an exemption pursuant to this part must indicate that intention to the Commission and the public by a prominent notice in its rules tariff.

4. Revise § 532.7 to read as follows:

§ 532.7 Recordkeeping and audit.

(a)        An NVOCC invoking an exemption pursuant to this part must maintain original NRAs in an organized, readily accessible or retrievable manner for 5 years from the completion date of performance of the NRA by an NVOCC, in a format easily produced to the Commission.

(b)        NRAs are subject to inspection and reproduction requests under § 515.31(g) of this chapter. An NVOCC shall produce the requested NRAs promptly in response to a Commission request. All records produced must be in English or be accompanied by a certified English translation.

(c)        Failure to keep or timely produce original NRAs will disqualify an NVOCC from the operation of the exemption provided pursuant to this part, regardless of whether it has been invoked by notice as set forth above, and may result in a Commission finding of a violation of 46 U.S.C. 41104(1), 41104(2)(A) or other acts prohibited by the Shipping Act.

* * * * *

For more information on NRA’s you can contact us via email at nmooney@customscourt.com or smorrison@customscourt.com or by phone at (850) 893-0670 or toll free at (800) 583-0250.

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