Increase OTI NVOCC bond
minimums from $75,000 to $100,000;
Ocean freight forwarder
bonds from $50,000 to $75,000; and
Foreign NVOCCs registered
to do business in the U.S. trades from $150,000 to $200,000.
The Commissionís ANPRM
proposes that licensed or registered OTIs be required to renew its license
every two years. OTIs would be able to do this by submitting an updated
renewal form. Currently, there is no requirement for an OTI to renew its
license. The Commissionís experience has shown that too many OTIs cannot
be found at the address of record, operate without a current Qualifying
Individual, with new or different branch offices, new or different
officers, or with previously unknown or unregistered trade names. Out of
date information has resulted in futile attempts to locate licensed OTIs
in investigations, enforcement actions and private complaints.
The ANPRM also proposes
that OTIs require their agents to include the principalís name, address,
and license number on shipping documents prepared or issued by agents on
behalf of the principal. To address those harmful shipping practices such
as failure to deliver the cargo and refusal to return the pre-paid ocean
freight, loss of the cargo, significant delay in delivery, charges to the
shipper for marine insurance that was never obtained, the list goes on Ė
this proposal attempts to provide transparency and clarity on the agent
and principal relationship of OTIs.
To address practices in
the OTI industry that harm the shipping public, the ANPRM proposes that
the qualified individual representing the licensed OTI have three years of
OTI experience with a registered or licensed OTI. That person would also
have to be at least 21 years old, be responsible for the general
supervision of the licenseeís operations, and meet the statuteís character
requirements, in order to obtain an OTI license.
The existing provision
that foreign-based OTIs who wish to obtain an FMC license must establish a
presence in the U.S. by opening an unincorporated office is clarified to
newly require that it is qualified to do business where it is located, and
staffed and operated by a full-time bona fide employee.
The ANPRM seeks comments
on filing and payment of claims, priorities for claims, and methods of
improving reporting provisions by surety companies to promote faster and
fairer allocation to claimants.
The ANPRM seeks to
further streamline the Commissionís processes by ensuring its records are
up-to-date so that the Commission and the public do not waste valuable
time attempting to contact licensees. Similarly, streamlining the
revocation of the license will alert the shipping public that it should
not do business with that OTI.
The ANPRM proposes to
reduce regulatory burdens on licensed OTIs by recognizing the developments
in the law enabling their use of agents. Burdens are also reduced on OTIs
that operate with branch offices: the ANPRM proposes eliminating the
additional $10,000 bond amount currently required for each of a licensed
OTIís branch offices.
With smaller operators
also in mind, the Commission specifically requested public comment in the
ANPRM on how it might differentiate in its regulation between OTIs that
operate in the small package or "barrel trade" and those that operate
primarily in one cargo type or volume; and what might be the effects of
lower financial responsibility requirements for some defined type of