The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America is seeking clarification from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about new licensing and bonding requirements for forwarders that arrange domestic truck transportation.
Customs brokers often take on that task for their international customers on the inbound side.
Under the MAP-21 surface transportation legislation enacted last year, cargo brokers as of Oct. 1 must take out a $75,000 surety bond to ensure customers of their financial security. The bond amount previously was $10,000.
Motor carriers that also broker loads must register separately as a forwarder.
The NCBFAA said it understood that customs brokers and ocean freight forwarders were exempt from the rules when arranging inland truck transport, as long as the broker was also involved in the customs clearance process. It also believes the exemption applies whether the customs broker assessed a charge for providing that service to its customer.
The trade association is requesting that the FMCSA clarify its interpretation of the customs broker provisions because of confusion over who must comply.
Specifically, it asks the agency to confirm that carriers need not issue an intermodal through bill of lading to find that cargo moving inland is still part of a through international transportation arrangement. It also seeks confirmation that the issuance of a delivery order by a customs broker after the customs clearance process is completed constitutes activities that are exempt from the licensing and bonding requirements of MAP-21.