Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)

What Is It & What Does It Regulate?

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), founded in 1961, is an independent federal agency of the United States in charge of regulating oceanborn international transport in the US. In this page, you will be able to find out what the responsibilities of the FMC are and why is it so important that your mover is licensed by this agency.

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Federal Maritime Commission: Responsibilities

Federal Maritime Commission LogoThe mission of the FMC is to foster fair, efficient and reliable international ocean transportation that contributes to the US economy and protects the public from deceptive practices. Its responsibilities include:

  • Developing and enforcing international shipping regulations;
  • Licensing ocean terminal operators and intermediaries;
  • Oversee the country’s shipping and maritime-trade industries;
  • Enforce regulations and monitor rates in the US shipping industry;
  • Evaluate agreements between shipping lines and maritime terminals;
  • Serve as an intermediary in disputes between operators and consumers;
  • Take measures against unfair/unfavorable conditions caused by foreign governments.
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Why Is a Federal Maritime Commission License Important?

The reason why you should ensure that the mover you book is licensed by the FMC boils down to the fact that it serves as a guarantee that any irregularities will be dealt with in a professional manner. As well, this license helps to regulate charges so that customers don’t have to overpay due to the unethical practices of third parties. In other words, this license ensures that loss, damage of property and/or other issues will be handled in an efficient and competent way.

In order to obtain the Federal Maritime Commission license, Ocean Freight Forwarders (OFF) or Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) must comply with the following:

  • Have a minimum of three years of demonstrable OTI experience;
  • Be an officer of the applicant’s corporation, a partner in a partnership or the sole proprietor of the firm;
  • Have gained experience in the United States or outside of the US (if an international mover);
  • Submit the required application form;
  • Pay the required license application fee;
  • In case of the mover being an international one, the company must establish a presence in the United States.

To find out whether or not the mover you’re interested on booking has an FMC license we recommend that you first take a look at the company’s website. If you cannot find the seal of such, we recommend that you take a look at the official Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTI) list.

We hope that this article managed to give you some insight into what the FMC does and why its license is so important within the movie industry. In case you might be interested in the most relevant moving associations that you should also be on the lookout for when evaluating a mover, we recommend that you check out the ones linked below. 🙂