On Tuesday, August 2, the Federal Maritime Commission agreed to initiate a rulemaking addressing proposed changes to Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) and NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs). In particular, the rulemaking will address the inclusion of negotiated economic terms beyond rates in NRAs and the ability to modify NRAs at any time upon mutual agreement between an NVOCC and a shipper, even after an initial shipment is received by the NVOCC or its agent. With respect to NSAs, the rulemaking will address whether NSA's filing and essential terms publication requirements should be altered or eliminated.

The FMC will not initiate this rulemaking process until the conclusion of its ongoing rulemaking to modify current NSA regulations (46 C.F.R. Part 531) in Docket No. 16-05.

The FMC provided notice of its intention to initiate the rulemaking in an Order granting Petition No. P2-15, a petition filed on April 18, 2015 by the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) requesting these changes.