NCBFAA Comments Support Three
|For Immediate Release
Washington, DC: In comments filed with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc, (NCBFAA) expressed its support for UPS, BAX Global, (BAX) and C.H. Robinson Worldwide (Robinson) petitions requesting permission to enter into ocean service contracts with their customers. However, the NCBFAA rejected an approach by Ocean World Lines (OWL) that NVOCCs be treated like forwarders and be permitted to enter into a confidential "Special Contract" with their customers.
Responding to the UPS, BAX and Robinson petitions, the NCBFAA noted that the industry had evolved from common carriage to contract carriage due to the enactment of OSRA and the NCBFAA agreed that NVOCCs should be able to enter into service contracts with their customers if these parties mutually believe that to be appropriate.
However, the NCBFAA specifically pointed out that:
- The relief sought by the NCBFAA (namely, to have NVOCCs exempted from the rate tariff provisions of the Act) provided a preferable and more efficient method for relief for most NVOCCs.
- It would be highly inappropriate for the FMC to determine that authority of this nature should be limited to large NVOCCs or NVOCCs that are affiliated with steamship lines.
- The Commission should not impose any financial prerequisites for eligibility to enter into service contracts.
- There is no need for NVOCCs to have to file service contracts with the Commission (since that should only be required of VOCCs who enjoy anti-trust immunity).
Commenting on the OWL petition, the NCBFAA observed that OWL’s preference would be that the Association’s tariff exemption petition be granted, since it was only suggesting the "Special Forwarder Contract" proposal as an alternative due to concern that the Commission might not exercise its authority in this area. The NCBFAA again pointed out that the Commission does have the necessary authority and that it should issue the relief that the Association requested.
With headquarters in Washington, DC, the NCBFAA (www.ncbfaa.org) represents nearly 700 member companies - the nation's leading freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs) and air cargo agents. Established in 1897 in New York, NCBFAA is the strong, 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, Quarterly NCBFAA Bulletin, and various meetings and conferences throughout the year.