The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission voted 4-1 on Wednesday to extend to foreign non-vessel-operating common carriers the ability to offer Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs).
FMC Chairman Richard Lidinsky noted that foreign NVOs have wanted to be able to offer the NRAs when the commission approved allowing domestic NVOs to offer NRAs.
“This was an item that was overdue on the agenda and I wanted to resolve it by the end of the year,” he told American Shipper
The FMC defines NRAs as "written and binding arrangements between a shipper and a licensed NVOCC to provide specific transportation service for a stated cargo quantity, from origin to destination, on and after a stated date or within a defined time frame. If an NVOCC uses NRAs and meets the conditions below, it does not have to publish its rate in the tariff it makes available to the public."
He said FMC staff will return with a final rule at the commission's February meeting.
Lidinksky also said a plan announced by the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement and Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement to combine into a single discussion agreement will "move right to the front of the line" in terms of significant pending commission items. "That will be the major item for 2013,” he said.
TSA submitted the plan last month, withdrew it for procedural reasons, and is expected to refile it shortly.
“When it is refilled, it is of massive importance to this commission and this country,” Lidinksy said. “We will look at whatever they propose very carefully.” - Chris Dupin