Federal Maritime Transportation License

Federal Maritime Transportation License


Federal Maritime Transportation License is an appropriate document for shipping goods and trade. The OFF (Ocean Freight Forwarder) is an institution or person, who carries out cargo transit operations from the U.S.

Through carriers and U.S. ports, they realize urban and long-distance ocean trade. So, keep on reading to get detailed information about the whole process of being an ocean transportation freight forwarder.

Besides, you will get the needed information about required licenses and applications.

Getting a Maritime Transportation License

First, you need to understand what the mission of the Federal Maritime Commission is. The FMC is an organization of the U.S. that provides and carries out ocean transportation shipping from and to the U.S.

However, to deal with a business, related to sea transportation activities, the agency requires a legal document. Otherwise, the individual or company cannot apply for sea freights services.

Federal Maritime Transportation License application

Federal Maritime Commission is authorized to follow some important regulations and instructions about sea commerce shipping. Also, you need to get acquainted with OTI (Ocean Transportation Intermediary) rules.

The OTI is the same ocean freight forwarder and “NVOCCs” (non-vessel-operating common carrier). NVOCCS, being a common carrier, provides all kinds of ocean forwarder’s operations. But, this commission does not provide operations without vessels.

On the other hand, this common carrier offers a “house bill of lading” or proper document. They are important factors in shipping.

Moreover, the “House bill of lading” is the official proof of receipt of delivered goods. This document is given to the supplier after receiving the load. In addition, the application form you can find on the Federal Maritime Commission’s page.

So, pass the registration entering the following requirements:

Federal Maritime Transportation License registration

Needed Requirements

  • Insert the full name of the applicant.
  • Note business address where OTI activities will take place.
  • Already a Federal Maritime Transportation licensed person should add the number of a certificate.
  • Indicate the business activity that the applicant deals with. For example, import and export carriers, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, etc.

If the person is already an OFF and NVOCC licensee, he/she should enter the license number.

In order to carry out OTI business, the applicant can establish separate branch offices. So, to operate as a separate entrepreneur, then he/she must:

  1. Introduce all the branches. Also, each of them must be licensed.
  2. If the applicant is not a U.S. NVOCC, then must have a qualifying branch office in the U.S.
  • In case of having a partner (individual or company) in your business, then identify both of them and your relationships.
  • Introduce individuals or organizations (except banks) that help you financially.

So, there are many more requirements. Those requirements depend on what activity you apply to get a license for.

As a result of not following these rules, you can lose having an OTI license. Therefore, to deal with without a proper certificate you may pay $6000-$30000 penalties for every infraction.

The fees for those actions are almost the same: $125. Only receiving a new license costs $250. Your request will be approved within 60 days. Incomplete requests will be refunded within a week.

Ocean Transportation Intermediary License cost

To receive an OTI license, the candidate must introduce the FMC-18 Form. The fee is $825. You can find this form on the FMC official page.

The submitter must nominate a person, who has 3 years of OTI experience. The experienced person can be an entrepreneur or partner of the applicant’s company.

For OTIs, settled in the U.S., the experience of a qualifying individual must be obtained in the U.S. The NVOCC license candidates, not settled in the U.S., can obtain the qualifying person’s experience  in other countries.

The qualifying individual changes imply a receipt of a modified license. The changes refer to the qualifying individual’s name, address, product additions, and reductions, etc.

A modified license costs $525.

Ocean Freight Forwarder Licensee

FMC provides a legal document for Ocean Freight Forwarders, Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers, and Non-U.S.-based NVOCCs.

Licenses for the U.S. based OFF and NVOCC

You need to follow some instructions and regulations for licensing:

  • Nominate a qualifying person.
  • Introduce FMC-18 Form.
  • Complete the application form and submit it.
  • With a credit card, you can pay the application fee.

License for Non-U.S. based NVOCC

  • Non-U.S. based NVOCCs have to establish separate branch offices in the U.S.
  • The Secretary of State office must qualify and confirm those offices and their operations.
  • Nominate a qualifying person.
  • Fill in the FMC-18 Form.
  • With a credit card, you can pay the application fee.

For online registration payments use Pay.gov.

What is a “SERVCON”?

When the freight forwarder signs to carry out the transportation of goods, he/she needs to file a confidential service contract: “SERVCON”. So, “SERVCON” is an FMC service contract filing system.

Service contracts are signed between a forwarder and ocean carrier. As a result, the forwarder should provide the least amount of goods. Also, the ocean carrier should set a rate or rate schedule and a determined level of service.

How to file an FMC?

In order to file the service contracts, “SERVCON” ought to submit them. Vessel Operating Common Carrier needs to register to get an account by the “SERVCON”. It will help them to use the system.

So, for registration, you ought to complete and approve the FMC-83 Form. To sum up, besides filing the contracts, you can file legal complaints to the Federal Maritime Commission, too.

If violations of shipping activities exist, then you need to apply to the commission and require offset. Some important rules must be discussed, before complaints filing.

According to the commission’s procedure norms and rules, the executive law judge investigates the complaints and after that determines.

The commission requires some instruction for complaints filing:

  • First, the applicants must introduce all the violations of the shipping activities.
  • The executive law judge ought to approve the complaints.
  • Submit your complaint or request within 3 years after the infraction.
  • Enter the name, e-mail address, residence address of an individual or company, who requests.
  • Also, mention the accused name.
  • Identify the violent acts causes.
  • Introduce your request for getting proper help.
  • Indicate the place where you would like a confidential hearing to take place.
  • Provide five copies of your request.
  • You should pay the fee for filing.
  • Furthermore, send copies of your request to the Federal Maritime Commission’s secretary.
Araxia G

Araxia G

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