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June 25 2018

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24 The Journal of Commerce | June 25 2018 www.joc.com Government THE FEDERAL MARITIME Commission on June 6 issued a final rule reliev- ing non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOs) from certain filing requirements that interfered with the latter's ability to respond quickly to the changing needs of their bene- ficial cargo owner (BCO) customers in today's fast-paced ocean shipping contracting environment. NVOs now will be able to reach business agreements with their cus- tomers similar to how ocean carriers have contracted with BCOs for years. The ruling concludes a petition pro- cess that began in 2004. "The FMC commissioners are owed a huge vote of thanks," Ed Greenberg, general counsel to the National Customs Bro- kers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), told The Journal of Commerce after the vote. The FMC is simplifying NVO requirements involving two common contracting tools: negotiated rate arrangements (NRAs) and NVO service arrangements (NSAs). The final rule will be published early this summer. Key provisions in the rule will allow NRAs to be amended at any time, and NRAs will be allowed to address terms of service as well as freight rates. BCO acceptance of an NRA will be established by the booking of the shipment. "With the final rule, the commission will make NSAs easier and more attractive to use by removing filing and essential terms requirements," the FMC stated. Providing an example of how the changes will benefit NVOs and their customers, Greenberg said NRAs until now could not be amended to respond to changing trade lane conditions. "That doesn't work in the dynamic environ - ment of ocean shipping," he said. What happened, he said, is that the NVO would lose money when conditions changed, or the customer would ship with someone else. NRAs now can be amended. Also, although NRAs were limited to ocean freight rates, as the name implied, customers wanted to include other terms in their contracts such as credit, dispute resolution, and liability. The FMC responded with a final rule that, "pretty much provides everything that the NCBFAA asked for," said Rich Roche, chairman of the NVO subcommittee of the NCBFAA's transportation committee. The commission stated that the final rule will allow the FMC to fulfill its mission under the Shipping Act to ensure a competitive environment in the US trades while making it easier for NVOs to service their customers. JOC email: bill.mongelluzzo@ihsmarkit.com twitter: @billmongelluzzo Quicker on the trigger FMC ruling will allow NVOs to respond faster to their customers' needs By Bill Mongelluzzo Time for a break ELD mandate relaxed for safe parking and agricultural commodity transportation By William B. Cassidy The FMC is simplifying NVO requirements involving negotiated rate arrangements NVO service arrangements. Shutterstock.com TRUCKERS WHO RUN out of legal driving hours while waiting to load or unload at a customer site can drive to the nearest safe parking spot without violating hours-of-service (HOS) rules, the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said last month. That time behind the wheel can be counted as off-duty "personal conveyance," an FMCSA official said at a press conference. That's a major break for drivers, and for shippers and consignees that don't have adequate parking on site at warehouses, stores, or distribution centers. Potentially, ordering truck drivers off their property when they've run out of legal hours could result in an investigation and fines under the driver coercion rule that applies to shippers as well as trucking operators. In two separate documents, the truck safety agency released long-awaited guidance that clarifies when and how drivers can use the personal conveyance provision of the HOS rules, and how the 150 air-mile HOS agricultural commodity exemp - tion works in the new era ushered in the by the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate that took effect last December. The FMCSA also said HOS viola- tions have dropped dramatically since the introduction of the ELD mandate. "[HOS] violations are about half of what they were a year ago," Joe DeLo- renzo, the agency's director of enforce- ment and compliance, told reporters. He also said roadside inspections since April 1 indicate a high compliance rate with the mandate. The guidance on personal convey- ance and the agricultural commodity HOS exemption gives drivers, carriers, International | Washington | Customs | Security | Regulation

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