Contacts: Edward Greenberg @ (202) 342-5277                    For Immediate Release

Janet Fields @ (912) 963-2964


NCBFAA Comments in FMC Rulemaking


Washington, DC: In a 33-page comment filing, the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) has made its feelings known about the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the regulation of Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs). Generally, the Association opposes most of the proposals, pointing out that the initiative had been sparked by the Commission’s investigation of problems encountered in the household goods trade. The NCBFAA commented that the proposals have little or nothing to do with those problems. To the contrary, the new regulations would simply burden OTIs with little effect on the problems of fly-by-night companies that provide for the movement of individual household goods in various trades.

More specifically, the NCBFAA’s comments address the following issues: license renewal, qualifying individual issues, due process issues, changes in OTI bonds, agency issues, and household goods. The Association also argues that there was no good reason to put artificial restrictions on the volume of traffic that a company handling household goods should be able to arrange, or to water down the licensing or bonding requirements for companies engaged in the household goods industry. The NCBFAA further recommends that the Commission consider promulgating specific consumer protection regulations, like those the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented for the domestic motor carrier industry.

Finally, the NCBFAA recommended the FMC ease procedural requirements for Negotiated Rate Agreements (NRAs) and NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs), work with the FMCSA to establish a common bond for OTIs and motor carrier property brokers, and require the vessel operators to establish and file their contingency plans for dealing with cargo during periods of anticipated severe congestion.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the NCBFAA represents more than 870 member companies with 100,000 employees in international trade - the nation's leading freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs), NVOCCs and air cargo agents, serving more than 250,000 importers and exporters. Established in 1897 in New York, NCBFAA is the effective national voice of the industry. Through its various committees, counsel and representatives, the Association maintains a close watch over legislative and regulatory issues that affect its members. It keeps them informed of these and other related issues through its weekly Monday Morning eBriefing, and various meetings and conferences throughout the year.


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