In testimony regarding the management of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) President Mary Jo Muoio reiterated the NCBFAA call for an end to the NVOCC tariff filing requirement and termination of the current anti-trust immunity that carriers have long enjoyed. She also questioned the FMC’s recent action to allow the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach’s Clean Truck Plan to take effect.
‘We have numerous issues before the FMC that we address in our written testimony, such as the anachronistic retention of antitrust immunity and the puzzling conclusion emanating from the FMC last Friday,’ she said. ‘Another aspect of current regulatory policy, however, does carry undue and totally unnecessary burdens ’ namely, the requirement that NVOCCs publish and maintain rate tariffs.’
Describing them as ‘anachronistic regulatory requirements,’ she said these published rate tariffs ‘are almost never reviewed or used by customers, that NVOCC rates are almost uniformly negotiated individually with individual customers and only later published in tariff form, and that the cost of tariff publication needlessly increases NVOCC costs, reducing their flexibility and competitiveness.’
Asking only that NVOCCs be treated as others subject to the Shipping Act of 1998, she concluded that ‘the NCBFAA will, in the near future, again request the FMC to utilize the liberalized exemption authority Congress provided in the Shipping Act to exempt NVOCC rate tariffs from mandatory publication and enforcement.’
‘In summary, the NCBFAA believes that it is time to substantially amend the Shipping Act to more appropriately recognize the shift from the common carriage notions underlying the Shipping Act, 1916 to the contract carriage industry that has developed since the enactment of OSRA,’ President Muoio said. ‘The Association also believes that the FMC should continue to use its authority to free the industry from unnecessary regulation, so that the agency’s oversight becomes more appropriate to the changing nature of the industry.’
Headquartered in Washington, DC, the NCBFAA represents nearly 800 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.