Yesterday, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a Final Rule amending the regulations governing NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) and NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs). The rule changes will take effect on August 22, 2018.

As noted in a previous alert we issued when the FMC voted to approve the rule changes, the new rule makes the following key changes:

For NSAs

  • Eliminates the filing requirement; and
  • Eliminates the "essential terms" publication requirement.

For NRAs

  • Allows NRAs to be amended at any time;
  • Allows an NRA to contain economic terms beyond rates; and
  • Allows a booking request to constitute formal "acceptance" of an NRA.

The FMC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for these changes in November 2017 and accepted comments from the shipping industry on the rulemaking in late January of this year. The Final Rule was approved by a FMC vote on June 6, 2018.