Industry Advisory — Requirements for Doing Business with NVOCCs and OFFs
The Federal Maritime Commission reminds Common Carriers, including Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (VOCCs), they must meet their compliance obligations when doing business with Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) and Ocean Freight Forwarders (OFFs).
Common Carriers must verify NVOCCs and OFFs are compliant with all applicable regulatory and statutory requirements related to licensing, registration, tariffs, and financial responsibility before accepting or transporting cargo for the account of an NVOCC and OFF. See 46 C.F.R. § 515.27; 46 U.S.C. §§ 40501, 40901-40904, 41104(a)(11).
VOCCs must verify an NVOCC’s compliance with all applicable regulatory and statutory requirements related to licensing, registration, tariffs, and financial responsibility before signing a Service Contract with an NVOCC. See 46 C.F.R. § 530.6.
NVOCCs are prohibited from knowingly and willfully entering into an NVOCC Service Arrangement with another NVOCC if the second NVOCC does not meet all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to licensing, registration, tariffs and financial responsibility. See 46 C.F.R. § 531.6(c).
Failure to meet these obligations could result in fines or other penalties.
The Commission maintains lists of NVOCCs and OFFs that are licensed (or registered in case of foreign-based unlicensed NVOCCs) and have maintained the necessary proof of financial responsibility. The Commission also maintains a list of the tariff location of each NVOCC for this purpose. This information is provided by the Commission to support compliance and protect the shipping public.