Thursday, November 5, 2015


The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has decided to move forward with final rules amending licensing requirements for Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTI) operating in the USA. Docket 13-05 will amend FMC regulations and implement a new three year renewal requirement for OTI licenses. This is a significant change from the current OTI regulations, which have no requirement to renew the OTI license once granted. In other words, current licenses do not have expiration dates.
The effective date for this change has not yet been announced. However, the Commission has advised the assignment of license expiration dates and the license renewal process will be phased in starting in "late 2016" and will use an on-line portal. Nearly 5000 licensed OTIs, both NVOCCs and ocean freight forwarders, will eventually be required to comply with this new process. The "license renewal form" has not yet been released by FMC, but it is expected it will require licensed OTI’s to reconfirm key details that are required in OTI license applications, including head office and branch office addresses and contact info, and the names of company shareholders, directors and officers. The final rules adopted under Docket 13-05 will update FMC licensing regulations provided in Title 46 of U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under Part 515. This amendment to these regulations will also provide for an expedited hearing process will be provided for license denials, revocations, or suspensions.