Contacts: Edward Greenberg @ (202) 342-5277                                    For Immediate Release
                   Tom Mathers (202) 466-0222

 NCBFAA Seeks FMCSA MAP-21 Guidance

Washington, DC: The National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) General Counsel Ed Greenberg submitted a detailed memorandum to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) concerning the recent enactment of the MAP-21 legislation and the new licensing and bonding requirements for property brokers.
        Although the NCBFAA had worked with Congress to secure an exemption from those requirements for customs brokers, NVOCCs, ocean freight forwarders and air forwarders, the scope of that exemption has been called into question by numerous parties.
         In that regard, the NCBFAA believed that the exemption was broad enough to cover the activities of a customs broker in arranging for inland trucking, as long as the broker was also involved in the customs clearance process for that transaction. The Association also believed the exemption applied whether the customs broker assessed a charge for providing that service to its customer. Nonetheless, in view of the confusion, the NCBFAA has met several times with FMCSA officials to get the agency to issue formal guidance in this matter.
        As part of that effort, the November 14 letter outlines the nature of the statutory exemption contained in MAP-21 and then specifically requests an interpretation of several items.
        First, the Association requests that FMCSA confirm the involved carriers need not issue an intermodal through bill of lading to find that cargo moving inland is still part of a through international transportation arrangement.
        Second, the Association is asking FMCSA to confirm that the issuance of a delivery order by a customs broker after the customs clearance process is completed still constitutes activities that are exempt from the licensing and bonding requirements of MAP-21.
       Finally, to better provide guidance to the public, the Association’s letter includes a series of draft Frequently Asked Questions for FMCSA’s review in the hope it would agree with the proposed interpretations and issue those FAQs as guidance.
       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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