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United States Regulations

Title 46: Shipping



Authority: 5 U.S.C. 553; 46 U.S.C. app. 1701–1702, 1707–1709, 1712, 1716; and sec. 424 of Pub. L. 105–383, 112 Stat. 3411.

Source: 64 FR 11225, Mar. 8, 1999, unless otherwise noted.

§ 520.1 Scope and purpose.
(a) Scope. The regulations of this part govern the publication of tariffs in automated systems by common carriers and conferences in the waterborne foreign commerce of the United States. They cover the transportation of property by such carriers, including through transportation with inland carriers. They implement the tariff publication requirements of section 8 of the Shipping Act of 1984 (“Act”), as modified by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 and section 424 of Public Law 105–258.

(b) Purpose. The requirements of this part are intended to permit:

(1) Shippers and other members of the public to obtain reliable and useful information concerning the rates and charges that will be assessed by common carriers and conferences for their transportation services;

(2) Carriers and conferences to meet their publication requirements pursuant to section 8 of the Act;

(3) The Commission to ensure that carrier tariff publications are accurate and accessible and to protect the public from violations by carriers of section 10 of the Act; and

(4) The Commission to review and monitor the activities of controlled carriers pursuant to section 9 of the Act.

§ 520.2 Definitions.
The following definitions shall apply to this part:

Act means the Shipping Act of 1984, as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998.

Amendment means any change, alteration, correction or modification of an existing tariff.

Assessorial charge means the amount that is added to the basic ocean freight rate.

BTA means the Commission's Bureau of Trade Analysis or its successor bureau.

Bulk cargo means cargo that is loaded and carried in bulk without mark or count in a loose unpackaged form, having homogeneous characteristics. Bulk cargo loaded into intermodal equipment, except LASH or Seabee barges, is subject to mark and count and is, therefore, subject to the requirements of this part.

Co-loading means the combining of cargo by two or more NVOCCs for tendering to an ocean common carrier under the name of one or more of the NVOCCs.

Combination rate means a rate for a shipment moving under intermodal transportation which is computed by the addition of a TRI, and an inland rate applicable from/to inland points not covered by the TRI.

Commission means the Federal Maritime Commission.

Commodity description means a comprehensive description of a commodity listed in a tariff, including a brief definition of the commodity.

Commodity description number means a number that may be used to identify a commodity description.

Commodity index means an index of the commodity descriptions contained in a tariff.

Commodity rate means a rate for shipping to or from specific locations a commodity or commodities specifically named or described in the tariff in which the rate or rates are published.

Common carrier means a person holding itself out to the general public to provide transportation by water of cargo between the United States and a foreign country for compensation that:

(1) Assumes responsibility for the transportation from port or point of receipt to the port or point of destination; and

(2) Utilizes, for all or part of that transportation, a vessel operating on the high seas or the Great Lakes between a port in the United States and a port in a foreign country, except that the term does not include a common carrier engaged in ocean transportation by ferry boat, ocean tramp, or chemical parcel tanker or by a vessel when primarily engaged in the carriage of perishable agricultural commodities:

(i) If the common carrier and the owner of those commodities are wholly-owned, directly or indirectly, by a person primarily engaged in the marketing and distribution of those commodities and

(ii) Only with respect to the carriage of those commodities.

Conference means an agreement between or among two or more ocean common carriers which provides for the fixing of and adherence to uniform tariff rates, charges, practices and conditions of service relating to the receipt, carriage, handling and/or delivery of passengers or cargo for all members, but the term does not include joint service, consortium, pooling, sailing, or transshipment agreements.

Consignee means the recipient of cargo from a shipper; the person to whom a transported commodity is to be delivered.

Container means a demountable and reusable freight-carrying unit designed to be transported by different modes of transportation and having construction, fittings, and fastenings able to withstand, without permanent distortion or additional exterior packaging or containment, the normal stresses that apply on continuous all-water and intermodal transportation. The term includes dry cargo, ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, liquid tank, and open-top containers without chassis, but does not include crates, boxes or pallets.

Controlled carrier means an ocean common carrier that is, or whose operating assets are, directly or indirectly owned or controlled by a government; ownership or control by a government shall be deemed to exist with respect to any common carrier if:

(1) A majority portion of the interest in the common carrier is owned or controlled in any manner by that government, by an agency thereof, or by any public or private person controlled in any manner by that government, by any agency thereof, or by any public or private person controlled by that government; or

(2) That government has the right to appoint or disapprove the appointment of a majority of the directors, the chief operating officer or the chief executive officer of the common carrier.

Effective date means the date upon which a published tariff or tariff element is scheduled to go into effect. Where there are multiple publications to a tariff element on the same day, the last element published with the same effective date is the one effective for that day.

Expiration date means the last day after which the entire tariff or tariff element is no longer in effect.

Foreign commerce means that commerce under the jurisdiction of the Act.

Forest products means forest products including, but not limited to, lumber in bundles, rough timber, ties, poles, piling, laminated beams, bundled siding, bundled plywood, bundled core stock or veneers, bundled particle or fiber boards, bundled hardwood, wood pulp in rolls, wood pulp in unitized bales, paper and paper board in rolls or in pallet or skid-sized sheets, liquid or granular by-products derived from pulping and papermaking, and engineered wood products.

Harmonized Code means the coding provisions of the Harmonized System.

Harmonized System means the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“U.S. HTS”), based on the international Harmonized System, administered by the U.S. Customs Service for the U.S. International Trade Commission, and Schedule B, administered by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Inland point means any city and associated state/province, country, U.S. ZIP code, or U.S. ZIP code range, which lies beyond port terminal areas. (A city may share the name of a port: the immediate ship-side and terminal area is the port, but the rest of the city is considered an inland point.)

Inland rate means a rate specified from/to an ocean port to/from an inland point, for specified modes of overland transportation.

Inland rate table means a structured matrix of geographic inland locations (points, postal codes/postal code ranges, etc.) on one axis and transportation modes (truck, rail, etc.) on the other axis, with the inland rates specified at the matrix row and column intersections.

Intermodal transportation means continuous through transportation involving more than one mode of service (e.g., ship, rail, motor, air), for pickup and/or delivery at a point beyond the area of the port at which the vessel calls. The term “intermodal transportation” can apply to “through transportation (at through rates)” or transportation on through routes using combination rates.

Joint rates means rates or charges established by two or more common carriers for ocean transportation over the combined routes of such common carriers.

Local rates means rates or charges for transportation over the route of a single common carrier (or any one common carrier participating in a conference tariff), the application of which is not contingent upon a prior or subsequent movement.

Location group means a logical collection of geographic points, ports, states/provinces, countries, or combinations thereof, which is primarily used to identify, by location group name, a group that may represent tariff origin and/or destination scope and TRI origin and/or destination.

Loyalty contract means a contract with an ocean common carrier or agreement by which a shipper obtains lower rates by committing all or a fixed portion of its cargo to that carrier or agreement and the contract provides for a deferred rebate arrangement.

Motor vehicle means a wheeled vehicle whose primary purpose is ordinarily the non-commercial transportation of passengers, including an automobile, pickup truck, minivan, or sport utility vehicle.

Ocean common carrier means a common carrier that operates, for all or part of its common carrier service, a vessel on the high seas or the Great Lakes between a port in the United States and a port in a foreign country, except that the term does not include a common carrier engaged in ocean transportation by ferry boat, ocean tramp, or chemical parcel-tanker.

Ocean transportation intermediary means an ocean freight forwarder or a non-vessel-operating common carrier. For purposes of this part,

(1) Ocean freight forwarder means a person that—

(i) In the United States, dispatches shipments from the United States via a common carrier and books or otherwise arranges space for those shipments on behalf of shippers; and

(ii) Processes the documentation or performs related activities incident to those shipments; and

(2) Non-vessel-operating common carrier (“NVOCC”) means a common carrier that does not operate the vessels by which the ocean transportation is provided, and is a shipper in its relationship with an ocean common carrier.

Open rate means a rate on a specified commodity or commodities over which a conference relinquishes or suspends its ratemaking authority in whole or in part, thereby permitting each individual ocean common carrier member of the conference to fix its own rate on such commodity or commodities.

Organization name means an entity's name on file with the Commission and for which the Commission assigns an organization number.

Organization record means information regarding an entity, including its name, address, and organization type.

Origin scope means a location group defining the geographic range of cargo origins covered by a tariff.

Person includes individuals, firms, partnerships, associations, companies, corporations, joint stock associations, trustees, receivers, agents, assignees and personal representatives.

Point of rest means that area on the terminal facility which is assigned for the receipt of inbound cargo from the ship and from which inbound cargo may be delivered to the consignee, and that area which is assigned for the receipt of outbound cargo from shippers for vessel loading.

Port means a place at which a common carrier originates or terminates (by transshipment or otherwise) its actual ocean carriage of cargo or passengers as to any particular transportation movement.

Project rates means rates applicable to the transportation of materials and equipment to be employed in the construction or development of a named facility used for a major governmental, charitable, manufacturing, resource exploitation and public utility or public service purpose, including disaster relief projects.

Proportional rates means rates or charges assessed by a common carrier for transportation services, the application of which is conditioned upon a prior or subsequent movement.

Publication date means the date a tariff or tariff element is published in a carrier's or conference's tariff.

Publisher means an organization authorized to publish or amend tariff information.

Rate means a price stated in a tariff for providing a specified level of transportation service for a stated cargo quantity, from origin to destination, on and after a stated effective date or within a defined time frame.

Retrieval means the process by which a person accesses a tariff via dial-up telecommunications or a network link and interacts with the carrier's or publisher's system on a transaction-by-transaction basis to retrieve published tariff matter.

Rules means the stated terms and conditions set by the tariff owner which govern the application of tariff rates, charges and other matters.

Scope means the location group(s) (geographic groupings(s)) listing the ports or ranges of ports to and from which the tariff's rates apply.

Shipment means all of the cargo carried under the terms of a single bill of lading.

Shipper means:

(1) A cargo owner;

(2) The person for whose account the ocean transportation is provided;

(3) The person to whom delivery is to be made;

(4) A shipper's association; or

(5) An NVOCC that accepts responsibility for payment of all charges applicable under the tariff or service contract.

Shippers' association means a group of shippers that consolidates or distributes freight on a nonprofit basis for the members of the group in order to secure carload, truckload, or other volume rates or service contracts.

Special permission means permission, authorized by the Commission, for certain tariff publications that do not conform with applicable regulations, usually involving effectiveness on less than statutory notice.

Tariff means a publication containing the actual rates, charges, classifications, rules, regulations and practices of a common carrier or a conference of common carriers. The term “practices” refers to those usages, customs or modes of operation which in any way affect, determine or change the transportation rates, charges or services provided by a common carrier or conference and, in the case of conferences, must be restricted to activities authorized by the basic conference agreement.

Tariff number means a unique 3-digit number assigned by the publisher to distinguish it from other tariffs. Tariffs may be identified by the 6-digit organization number plus the user-assigned tariff number (e.g., 999999–001) or a Standard Carrier Alpha Code (“SCAC”) plus the user-assigned tariff number.

Tariff rate item (“TRI”) means a single freight rate, in effect on and after a specific date or for a specific time period, for the transportation of a stated cargo quantity, which may move from origin to destination under a single specified set of transportation conditions, such as container size or temperature.

TRI number means a number that consists of the numeric commodity code, if any, and a unique numeric suffix used to differentiate TRIs within the same commodity description. TRI numbers are not required in systems that do not use numeric commodity coding.

Through rate means the single amount charged by a common carrier in connection with through transportation.

Through transportation means continuous transportation between points of origin and destination, either or both of which lie beyond port terminal areas, for which a through rate is assessed and which is offered or performed by one or more carriers, at least one of which is a common carrier, between a United States point or port and a foreign point or port.

Thru date means the date after which an amendment to a tariff element is designated by the publisher to be unavailable for use and the previously effective tariff element automatically goes back into effect.

Time/volume rate means a rate published in a tariff which is conditioned upon receipt of a specified aggregate volume of cargo or aggregate freight revenue over a specified period of time.

Trade name means a name used for conducting business, but which is not necessarily its legal name. This is also known as a “d/b/a” (doing business as) name.

Transshipment means the physical transfer of cargo from a vessel of one carrier to a vessel of another in the course of all-water or through transportation, where at least one of the exchanging carriers is an ocean common carrier subject to the Commission's jurisdiction.

[64 FR 11225, Mar. 8, 1999, as amended at 64 FR 23022, Apr. 29, 1999; 65 FR 26512, May 8, 2000; 67 FR 39860, June 11, 2002]

§ 520.3 Publication responsibilities.
(a) General. Unless otherwise exempted by §520.13, all common carriers and conferences shall keep open for public inspection, in automated tariff systems, tariffs showing all rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices between all points or ports on their own routes and on any through transportation route that has been established.

(b) Conferences. Conferences shall publish, in their automated tariff systems, rates offered pursuant to independent action by their members and may publish any open rates offered by their members. Alternatively, open rates may be published in individual tariffs of conference members.

(c) Agents. Common carriers or conferences may use agents to meet their publication requirements under this part.

(d) Notification. Each common carrier and conference shall notify BTA, prior to the commencement of common carrier service pursuant to a published tariff, of its organization name, organization number, home office address, name and telephone number of firm's representative, the location of its tariffs, and the publisher, if any, used to maintain its tariffs, by electronically submitting Form FMC–1 via the Commission's website at Any changes to the above information shall be immediately transmitted to BTA. The Commission will provide a unique organization number to new entities operating as common carriers or conferences in the U.S. foreign commerce.

(e) Location of tariffs. The Commission will publish on its website,, a list of the locations of all carrier and conference tariffs. The Commission will update this list on a periodic basis.

[64 FR 11225, Mar. 8, 1999, as amended at 67 FR 39860, June 11, 2002]

§ 520.4 Tariff contents.
(a) General. Tariffs published pursuant to this part shall:

(1) State the places between which cargo will be carried;

(2) List each classification of cargo in use;

(3) State the level of ocean transportation intermediary, as defined by section 3(17)(A) of the Act, compensation, if any, to be paid by a carrier or conference;

(4) State separately each terminal or other charge, privilege, or facility under the control of the carrier or conference and any rules or regulations that in any way change, affect, or determine any part of the aggregate of the rates or charges;

(5) Include sample copies of any bill of lading, contract of affreightment or other document evidencing the transportation agreement;

(6) Include copies of any loyalty contract, omitting the shipper's name;

(7) Contain an organization record, tariff record, and tariff rules; and

(8) For commodity tariffs, also contain commodity descriptions and tariff rate items.

(b) Organization record. Common carriers' and conferences' organization records shall include:

(1) Organization name;

(2) Organization number assigned by the Commission;

(3) Agreement number, where applicable;

(4) Organization type (e.g., ocean common carrier (VOCC), conference (CONF), non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) or agent);

(5) Home office address and telephone number of firm's representative;

(6) Names and organization numbers of all affiliates to conferences or agreements, including trade names; and

(7) The publisher, if any, used to maintain the organization's tariffs.

(c) Tariff record. The tariff record for each tariff shall include:

(1) Organization number and name, including any trade name;

(2) Tariff number;

(3) Tariff title;

(4) Tariff type (e.g., commodity, rules, equipment interchange, or bill of lading);

(5) Contact person and address;

(6) Default measurement and currency units;

(7) Origination and destination scope; and

(8) A statement certifying that all information contained in the tariff is true and accurate and no unlawful alterations will be permitted.

(d) Tariff rules. Carriers and conferences shall publish in their tariffs any rule that affects the application of the tariff.

(e) Commodity descriptions. (1) For each separate commodity in a tariff, a distinct numeric code may be used. Tariff publishers are not required to use any numeric code to identify commodities, but should they choose to do so, they are encouraged to use the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (“U.S. HTS”) for both the commodity coding and associated terminology (definitions).

(2) If a tariff publisher uses a numeric code to identify commodities, the following commodity types shall be preceded by their associated 2-digit prefixes, with the remaining digits at the publisher's option:

(i) Mixed commodities—“99”;

(ii) Projects—“98”; and

(iii) non-commodities, e.g., “cargo, n.o.s.,” “general cargo,” or “freight-all kinds”—“00”.

(3) Commodity index. (i) Each commodity description created under this section shall have at least one similar index entry which will logically represent the commodity within the alphabetical index. Publishers are encouraged, however, to create multiple entries in the index for articles with equally valid common use names, such as, “Sodium Chloride,” “Salt, common,” etc.

(ii) If a commodity description includes two or more commodities, each included commodity shall be shown in the index.

(iii) Items, such as “mixed commodities,” “projects” or “project rates,” “n.o.s.” descriptions, and “FAK,” shall be included in the commodity index.

(f) Tariff rate items. A tariff rate item (“TRI”) is the single freight rate in effect for the transportation of cargo under a specified set of transportation conditions. TRIs must contain the following:

(1) Brief commodity description;

(2) TRI number (optional);

(3) Publication date;

(4) Effective date;

(5) Origin and destination locations or location groups;

(6) Rate and rate basis; and

(7) Service code.

(g) Location groups. In the primary tariff, or in a governing tariff, a publisher may define and create groups of cities, states, provinces and countries (e.g., location groups) or groups of ports (e.g., port groups), which may be used in the construction of TRIs and other tariff objects, in lieu of specifying particular place names in each tariff item, or creating multiple tariff items which are identical in all ways except for place names.

(h) Inland rate tables. If a carrier or conference desires to provide intermodal transportation to or from named points/postal regions at combination rates, it shall clearly and accurately set forth the applicable charges in an “Inland Rate Tables” section. An inland rate table may be constructed to provide an inland distance which is applied to a per mile rate to calculate the inland rate.

(i) Shipper requests. Conference tariffs shall contain clear and complete instructions, in accordance with the agreement's provisions, stating where and by what method shippers may file requests and complaints and how they may engage in consultation pursuant to section 5(b)(6) of the Act, together with a sample rate request form or a description of the information necessary for processing the request or complaint.

(j) Inland divisions. Common carriers are not required to state separately or otherwise reveal in tariffs the inland division of a through rate.

§ 520.5 Standard tariff terminology.
(a) Approved codes. The Standard Terminology Appendix contains codes for rate bases, container sizes, service, etc., and units for weight, measure and distance. They are intended to provide a standard terminology baseline for tariffs to facilitate retriever efficiency. Tariff publishers may use additional codes, if they are clearly defined in their tariffs.

(b) Geographic names. Tariffs should employ locations (points) that are published in the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (“NIMA”) gazetteer or the Geographic Names Information System (“GNIS”) developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Ports published or approved for publication in the World Port Index (Pub. No. 150) should also be used in tariffs. Tariff publishers may use geographic names that are currently in use and have not yet been included in these publications.

§ 520.6 Retrieval of information.
(a) General. Tariffs systems shall present retrievers with the ability to:

(1) Search for commonly understood tariff objects (e.g., commodities, origins, destinations, etc.) without restricting such search to a specific tariff;

(2) Search a tariff for a rate on the basis of origin, destination and commodity;

(3) Employ a tariff selection option; or

(4) Select an object group (e.g., rules, locations, groups, etc.) within a particular tariff.

(b) Search capability. Tariffs shall provide the capability to search for tariff matter by non-case sensitive text search. Text search matches for commodity descriptions should result in a commodity or commodity index list.

(c) Commodities and TRIs. Retriever selection of a specific commodity from a commodity index list shall display the commodity description and provide an option for searching for a rate (e.g., on the basis of origin/destination) or a TRI list, if multiple TRIs are in effect for the commodity.

(d) Object groups. Retriever selection of a specific object group shall result in a list of the objects within the group or present a text search mechanism to allow location of an object within the group. For example, selection of the rules object group would present a list of the rules or a text search mechanism for locating specific terms or phrases within the rules.

(e) Basic ocean freight. The minimum rate display for tariffs shall consist of the basic ocean freight rate and a list of all assessorial charges that apply for the retriever-entered shipment parameters. If other rules or charges may be applicable to a shipment under certain circumstances, the tariff shall so indicate.

(f) Displays. All displays of individual tariff matter shall include the publication date, effective date, amendment code (as contained in appendix A of this part) and object name or number. When applicable, a thru date or expiration date shall also be displayed. Use of “S” as an amendment code shall be accompanied by a Commission issued special use number.

§ 520.7 Tariff limitations.
(a) General. Tariffs published pursuant to this part shall:

(1) Be clear and definite;

(2) Use English as the primary textual language;

(3) Not contain cross-references to any other rate tariffs, except:

(i) A tariff of general applicability maintained by that same carrier or conference,

(ii) The individual tariffs of members of a non-conference agreement to enter into time/volume rates may cross-reference the tariffs of other members for purposes of said time/volume rates, and

(iii) Multiple common tariffs of a conference agreement to enter into time/volume rates may cross-reference their own multiple conference tariffs for purposes of said time/volume rates; and

(4) Not duplicate or conflict with any other tariff publication.

(b) Notice of cancellation. Carriers and conferences shall inform BTA, in writing, whenever a tariff is canceled and the effective date of that cancellation.

(c) Applicable rates. The rates, charges, and rules applicable to any given shipment shall be those in effect on the date the cargo is received by the common carrier or its agent including originating carriers in the case of rates for through transportation.

(d) Minimum quantity rates. When two or more TRIs are stated for the same commodity over the same route and under similar conditions, and the application is dependent upon the quantity of the commodity shipped, the total freight charges assessed against the shipment may not exceed the total charges computed for a larger quantity, if the TRI specifying a required minimum quantity (either weight or measurement; per container or in containers) will be applicable to the contents of the container(s), and if the minimum set forth is met or exceeded. At the shipper's option, a quantity less than the minimum level may be freighted at the lower TRI if the weight or measurement declared for rating purposes is increased to the minimum level.

(e) Green salted hides. The shipping weight for green salted hides shall be either a scale weight or a scale weight minus a deduction, which amount and method of computation are specified in the commodity description. The shipper must furnish the carrier a weight certificate or dock receipt from an inland common carrier for each shipment at or before the time the shipment is tendered for ocean transportation.

(f) Conference situations. (1) New members of a conference shall cancel any independent tariffs applicable to the trades served by the conference, within ninety (90) days of membership in the conference. Individual conference members may publish their own separate open rate tariffs. Admission to the conference may be effective on the date notice is published in the conference tariff.

(2) New conference agreements have ninety (90) days within which to publish a new tariff.

(g) Overcharge claims. (1) No tariff may limit the filing of overcharge claims with a common carrier to a period of less than three (3) years from the accrual of the cause of action.

(2) The acceptance of any overcharge claim may not be conditioned upon the payment of a fee or charge.

(3) No tariff may require that overcharge claims based on alleged errors in weight, measurement or description of cargo be filed before the cargo has left the custody of the common carrier.

(h) Returned cargo. When a carrier or conference offers the return shipment of refused, damaged or rejected shipments, or exhibits at trade fairs, shows or expositions, to port of origin at the TRI assessed on the original movement, and such TRI is lower than the prevailing TRI:

(1) The return shipment must occur within one (1) year;

(2) The return movement must be made over the line of the same common carrier performing the original movement, except in the use of a conference tariff, where return may be made by any member line when the original shipment was carried under the conference tariff; and

(3) A copy of the original bill of lading showing the rate assessed must be presented to the return common carrier.

[64 FR 11225, Mar. 8, 1999, as amended at 67 FR 39860, June 11, 2002]

§ 520.8 Effective dates.
(a) General. (1) No new or initial rate, charge, or change in an existing rate, that results in an increased cost to a shipper may become effective earlier than thirty (30) calendar days after publication.

(2) An amendment which deletes a specific commodity and applicable rate from a tariff, thereby resulting in a higher “cargo n.o.s.” or similar general cargo rate, is a rate increase requiring a 30-day notice period.

(3) Rates for the transportation of cargo for the U.S. Department of Defense may be effective upon publication.

(4) Changes in rates, charges, rules, regulations or other tariff provisions resulting in a decrease in cost to a shipper may become effective upon publication.

(b) Amendments. The following amendments may take effect upon publication:

(1) Those resulting in no change in cost to a shipper;

(2) The canceling of a tariff due to cessation of all service by the carrier between the ports or points covered by the tariff;

(3) The addition of a port or point to a previously existing origin or destination grouping; or

(4) Changes in charges for terminal services, canal tolls, additional charges, or other provisions not under the control of the common carriers or conferences, which merely acts as a collection agent for such charges and the agency making such changes does so without notifying the tariff owner.

(c) Controlled carriers. Published rates by or for controlled carriers shall be governed by the procedures set forth in part 565 of this chapter.

§ 520.9 Access to tariffs.
(a) Methods to access. Carriers and conferences shall provide access to their published tariffs, via a personal computer (“PC”), by:

(1) Dial-up connection via public switched telephone networks (“PSTN”); or

(2) The Internet (Web) by:

(i) Web browser; or

(ii) Telnet session.

(b) Dial-up connection via PSTN. (1) This connection option requires that tariffs provide:

(i) A minimum of a 14.4Kbps modem capable of receiving incoming calls;

(ii) Smart terminal capability for VT–100 terminal or terminal emulation access; and

(iii) Telephone line quality for data transmission.

(2) The modem may be included in a collection (bank) of modems as long as all modems in the bank meet the minimum speed.

(c) Internet connection. (1) This connection option requires that systems provide:

(i) A universal resource locator (“URL”) Internet address (e.g., or; and/or

(ii) A URL Internet address (e.g., telnet://tariffsrus or telnet://, for Telnet session access over the Internet.

(2) Carriers or conferences shall ensure that their Internet service providers provide static Internet addresses.

(d) Commission access. Commission telecommunications access to systems must include connectivity via a dial-up connection over PSTNs or a connection over the Internet. Connectivity will be provided at the expense of the publishers. Any recurring connection fees, hardware rental fees, usage fees or any other charges associated with the availability of the system are the responsibility of the publisher. The Commission shall only be responsible for the long-haul charges for PSTN calls to a tariff initiated by the FMC.

(e) Limitations. (1) Tariffs must be made available to any person without time, quantity, or other limitations.

(2) Carriers are not required to provide remote terminals for access under this section.

(3) Carriers and conferences may assess a reasonable fee for access to their tariff publication systems and such fees shall not be discriminatory.

(4) Tariff publication systems shall provide user instructions for access to tariff information.

(f) Federal agencies. Carriers and conferences may not assess any access charges against the Commission or any other Federal agency.

(g) User identifications. Carriers and conferences shall provide the Commission with the documentation it requires and the number of user identifications and passwords it requests to facilitate the Commission's access to their systems, if they require such identifications and passwords.

§ 520.10 Integrity of tariffs.
(a) Historical data. Carriers and conferences shall maintain the data that appeared in their tariff publication systems for a period of five (5) years from the date such information is superseded, canceled or withdrawn, and shall provide on-line access to such data for two (2) years. After two (2) years, such data may be retained on-line or in other electronic form, and shall be made available to any person or the Commission upon request in a reasonable period of time. Carriers and conferences may charge a reasonable fee for the provision of historical data, not to exceed the fees for obtaining such data on-line. No fee shall apply to federal agencies.

(b) Access date capability. Each tariff shall provide the capability for a retriever to enter an access date, i.e., a specific date for the retrieval of tariff data, so that only data in effect on that date would be directly retrievable. This capability would also align any rate adjustments and assessorial charges that were effective on the access date for rate calculations and designation of applicable surcharges. The access date shall also apply to the alignment of tariff objects for any governing tariffs.

(c) Periodic review. The Commission will periodically review published tariff systems and will prohibit the use of any system that fails to meet the requirements of this part.

(d) Access to systems. Carriers and conferences shall provide the Commission reasonable access to their automated systems and records in order to conduct reviews.

§ 520.11 Non-vessel-operating common carriers.
(a) Financial responsibility. An ocean transportation intermediary that operates as a non-vessel-operating common carrier shall state in its tariff publication:

(1) That it has furnished the Commission proof of its financial responsibility in the manner and amount required by part 515 of this chapter;

(2) The manner of its financial responsibility;

(3) Whether it is relying on coverage provided by a group or association to which it is a member;

(4) The name and address of the surety company, insurance company or guarantor issuing the bond, insurance policy, or guaranty;

(5) The number of the bond, insurance policy or guaranty; and

(6) Where applicable, the name and address of the group or association providing coverage.

(b) Agent for service. Every NVOCC not in the United States shall state the name and address of the person in the United States designated under part 515 of this chapter as its legal agent for service of process, including subpoenas. The NVOCC shall further state that in any instance in which the designated legal agent cannot be served because of death, disability or unavailability, the Commission's Secretary will be deemed to be its legal agent for service of process.

(c) Co-Loading. (1) NVOCCs shall address the following situations in their tariffs:

(i) If an NVOCC does not tender cargo for co-loading, this shall be noted in its tariff.

(ii) If two or more NVOCCs enter into an agreement which establishes a carrier-to-carrier relationship for the co-loading of cargo, then the existence of such agreement shall be noted in the tariff.

(iii) If two NVOCCs enter into a co-loading arrangement which results in a shipper-to-carrier relationship, the tendering NVOCC shall describe its co-loading practices and specify its responsibility to pay any charges for the transportation of the cargo. A shipper-to-carrier relationship shall be presumed to exist where the receiving NVOCC issues a bill of lading to the tendering NVOCC for carriage of the co-loaded cargo.

(2) Documentation requirements. An NVOCC which tenders cargo to another NVOCC for co-loading, whether under a shipper-to-carrier or carrier-to-carrier relationship, shall annotate each applicable bill of lading with the identity of any other NVOCC to which the shipment has been tendered for co-loading. Such annotation shall be shown on the face of the bill of lading in a clear and legible manner.

(3) Co-loading rates. No NVOCC may offer special co-loading rates for the exclusive use of other NVOCCs. If cargo is accepted by an NVOCC from another NVOCC which tenders that cargo in the capacity of a shipper, it must be rated and carried under tariff provisions which are available to all shippers.

§ 520.12 Time/Volume rates.
(a) General. Common carriers or conferences may publish in their tariffs rates which are conditioned upon the receipt of a specified aggregate volume of cargo or aggregate freight revenue over a specified period of time.

(b) Publication requirements. (1) All rates, charges, classifications rules and practices concerning time/volume rates must be set forth in the carrier's or conference's tariff.

(2) The tariff shall identify:

(i) The shipment records that will be maintained to support the rate; and

(ii) The method to be used by shippers giving notice of their intention to use a time/volume rate prior to tendering any shipments under the time/volume arrangement.

(c) Accepted rates. Once a time/volume rate is accepted by one shipper, it shall remain in effect for the time specified, without amendment. If no shipper gives notice within 30 days of publication, the time/volume rate may be canceled.

(d) Records. Shipper notices and shipment records supporting a time/volume rate shall be maintained by the offering carrier or conference for at least 5 years after a shipper's use of a time/volume rate has ended.

(e) Liquidated damages. Time/volume rates may not impose or attempt to impose liquidated damages on any shipper that moves cargo under the rate. Carriers and agreements shall rerate cargo moved at the applicable tariff rate, if a shipper fails to meet the requirements of the time/volume offer.

§ 520.13 Exemptions and exceptions.
(a) General. Exemptions from the requirements of this part are governed by section 16 of the Act and Rule 67 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, §502.67 of this chapter.

(b) Services. The following services are exempt from the requirements of this part:

(1) Equipment interchange agreements. Equipment-interchange agreements between common carriers subject to this part and inland carriers, where such agreements are not referred to in the carriers' tariffs and do not affect the tariff rates, charges or practices of the carriers.

(2) Controlled carriers in foreign commerce. A controlled common carrier shall be exempt from the provisions of this part exclusively applicable to controlled carriers when:

(i) The vessels of the controlling state are entitled by a treaty of the United States to receive national or most-favored-nation treatment; or

(ii) The controlled carrier operates in a trade served exclusively by controlled carriers.

(3) Terminal barge operators in Pacific Slope states. Transportation provided by terminal barge operators in Pacific Slope states barging containers and containerized cargo by barge between points in the United States are exempt from the tariff publication requirements of Act and the rules of this part, where:

(i) The cargo is moving between a point in a foreign country or a non-contiguous State, territory, or possession and a point in the United States;

(ii) The transportation by barge between points in the United States is furnished by a terminal operator as a service substitute in lieu of a direct vessel call by the common carrier by water transporting the containers or containerized cargo under a through bill of lading; and

(iii) Such terminal operator is a Pacific Slope state, municipality, or other public body or agency subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission, and the only one furnishing the particular circumscribed barge service in question as of January 2, 1975.

(c) Cargo types. The following cargo types are not subject to the requirements of this part:

(1) Bulk cargo, forest products, etc. This part does not apply to bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, new assembled motor vehicles, waste paper and paper waste. Carriers or conferences which voluntarily publish tariff provisions covering otherwise exempt transportation thereby subject themselves to the requirements of this part, including the requirement to adhere to the tariff provisions.

(2) Mail in foreign commerce. Transportation of mail between the United States and foreign countries.

(3) Used military household goods. Transportation of used military household goods and personal effects by ocean transportation intermediaries.

(4) Department of Defense cargo. Transportation of U.S. Department of Defense cargo moving in foreign commerce under terms and conditions negotiated and approved by the Military Transportation Management Command (“MTMC”) and published in a universal service contract. An exact copy of the universal service contract, including any amendments thereto, shall be filed in paper format with the Commission as soon as it becomes available.

(5) Used household goods—General Services Administration. Transportation of used household goods and personal effects by ocean transportation intermediaries shipped for federal civilian executive agencies under the International Household Goods Program administered by the General Services Administration.

(d) Services involving foreign countries. The following transportation services involving foreign countries are not subject to the requirements of this part:

(1) Between foreign countries. This part does not apply to transportation of cargo between foreign countries, including that which is transshipped from one ocean common carrier to another (or between vessels of the same common carrier) at a U.S. port or transferred between an ocean common carrier and another transportation mode at a U.S. port for overland carriage through the United States, where the ocean common carrier accepts custody of the cargo in a foreign country and issues a through bill of lading covering its transportation to a foreign point of destination.

(2) Between Canada and U.S. The following services are exempt from the filing requirements of the Act and the rules of this part:

(i) Prince Rupert and Alaska. (A) Vehicles. Transportation by vessels operated by the State of Alaska between Prince Rupert, Canada and ports in southeastern Alaska, if all the following conditions are met:

(1) Carriage of property is limited to vehicles;

(2) Tolls levied for vehicles are based solely on space utilized rather than the weight or contents of the vehicle and are the same whether the vehicle is loaded or empty;

(3) The vessel operator does not move the vehicles on or off the ship; and

(4) The common carrier does not participate in any joint rate establishing through routes or in any other type of agreement with any other common carrier.

(B) Passengers. Transportation of passengers, commercial buses carrying passengers, personal vehicles and personal effects by vessels operated by the State of Alaska between Seattle, Washington and Prince Rupert, Canada, only if such vehicles and personal effects are the accompanying personal property of the passengers and are not transported for the purpose of sale.

(ii) British Columbia and Puget Sound Ports; rail cars.—(A) Through rates. Transportation by water of cargo moving in rail cars between British Columbia, Canada and United States ports on Puget Sound, and between British Columbia, Canada and ports or points in Alaska, only if the cargo does not originate in or is not destined to foreign countries other than Canada, but only if:

(1) The through rates are filed with the Surface Transportation Board and/or the Canadian Transport Commission; and

(2) Certified copies of the rate divisions and of all agreements, arrangements or concurrences, entered into in connection with the transportation of such cargo, are filed with the Commission within 30 days of the effectiveness of such rate divisions, agreements, arrangements or concurrences.

(B) Bulk; port-to-port. Transportation by water of cargo moving in bulk without mark or count in rail cars on a local port-to-port rate basis between ports in British Columbia, Canada and United States ports on Puget Sound, only if the rates charged for any particular bulk type commodity on any one sailing are identical for all shippers, except that:

(1) This exemption shall not apply to cargo originating in or destined to foreign countries other than Canada; and

(2) The carrier will remain subject to all other provisions of the Act.

(iii) Incan Superior, Ltd. Transportation by Incan Superior, Ltd. of cargo moving in railroad cars between Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Superior, Wisconsin, only if the cargo does not originate in or is not destined to foreign countries other than Canada, and if:

(A) The through rates are filed with the Surface Transportation Board and/or the Canadian Transport Commission; and

(B) Certified copies of the rate divisions and all agreements, arrangements or concurrences entered into in connection with the transportation of such cargo are filed with the Commission within 30 days of the effectiveness of such rate divisions, agreements, arrangements or concurrences.

§ 520.14 Special permission.
(a) General. Section 8(d) of the Act authorizes the Commission, in its discretion and for good cause shown, to permit increases or decreases in rates, or the issuance of new or initial rates, on less than the statutory notice. Section 9(c) of the Act authorizes the Commission to permit a controlled carrier's rates, charges, classifications, rules or regulations to become effective on less than 30 days' notice. The Commission may also in its discretion and for good cause shown, permit departures from the requirements of this part.

(b) Clerical errors. Typographical and/or clerical errors constitute good cause for the exercise of special permission authority but every application based thereon must plainly specify the error and present clear evidence of its existence, together with a full statement of the attending circumstances, and shall be submitted with reasonable promptness after publishing the defective tariff material.

(c) Application. (1) Applications for special permission to establish rate increases or decreases on less than statutory notice or for waiver of the provisions of this part, shall be made by the common carrier, conference or agent for publishing. Every such application shall be submitted to the Bureau of Trade Analysis and be accompanied by a filing fee of $195.

(2) Applications for special permission shall be made only by letter, except that in emergency situations, application may be made by telephone or facsimile if the communication is promptly followed by a letter and the filing fee. (continued)