FMC Tariff Filing Guide

by | Industry

The rules governing FMC tariff filing and publishing are complex, and simply publishing your tariff information in a basic FMC-compliant system may not be enough to ensure compliance. In this infographic, we summarize everything you need to know to ensure compliance for your FMC tariff filing. 

Magaya Guide to FMC Tariff Filings Infographic

What is the FMC?

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) was set up in 1961 as an independent agency with the prime objective to regulate common carriers by water and other persons involved in the ocean-borne foreign commerce of the United States under the provisions of the Shipping Act of 1984.

From its inception, the FMC has worked to further its mission to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system for the benefit of U.S. exporters, importers, and the U.S. consumer with the goal of protecting American exporters and consumers.

Who files an FMC tariff?

Anyone operating seaborne and associated services to/from the USA must file a tariff. 

Who needs an FMS license?

U.S.-based companies or sole proprietors operating as OFFs or NVOCCs are required to obtain a license from the FMC. Non-U.S.-based NVOCCs may obtain a registration or license from the FMC.

What to Submit With the FMC License Application

It is recommended you complete the Paper Worksheet prior to the electronic application.

How to Apply for an FMC License 

Submit Form FMC-18 electronically: Application for a License as an Ocean Transportation Intermediary. 

FMC Rules for NSAs and NRAs

FMC rules governing NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs) can be found here.

FMC rules governing NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) can be found here.

How to Publish Tariffs

All NVOCCs operating in the U.S. trades are required to publish a tariff using form FMC-1

Tariffs must be open for public inspection and show all rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices between all points or ports on their service routes.

What to Submit in a Filing

  • Ocean Freight Rates
  • Any Associated Surcharges
  • Cargo Commodity Description
  • Cargo Origin and Destination
  • Rules that Govern the Shipment, including a copy of the Bill of Lading.

The Importance of Compliance

Penalties for non-compliance can be quite severe running into thousands of dollars and could also result in the entity’s license being revoked.

The Importance of Record Keeping

If proper records are not maintained, the FMC is mandated to disqualify the OTI and classify it as a violation of the Shipping Act 1984.

How Magaya Can Help With FMC Tariff Filings

The rules governing FMC tariff filing and publishing can be complex, and simply publishing your tariff information in a basic FMC-compliant system may not be enough to ensure compliance. 

Magaya Rate Management allows you to manage, publish, and store your Tariff Rates, Governing Rules, and NRAs in one place, making it easy to keep up to date. Our solution also extensively checks your filings pre-publication for many common non-compliance risks, such as commodity descriptions, duplications, similar filings, and more.

Ready to digitize and modernize your FMC tariff filing operations?

See how Magaya can help.