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e-CFR data is current as of November 24, 2020

Title 46Chapter IVSubchapter BPart 515 → Subpart D


Title 46: Shipping
PART 515—LICENSING, REGISTRATION, FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND GENERAL DUTIES FOR OCEAN TRANSPORTATION INTERMEDIARIES


Subpart D—Duties and Responsibilities of Ocean Transportation Intermediaries; Reports to Commission


Contents
§515.31   General duties.
§515.32   Freight forwarder duties.
§515.33   Records required to be kept.

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§515.31   General duties.

(a) Licensees and registrants; names and numbers. Each licensee and registrant shall carry on its business only under the name in which it was licensed or registered and only under its license or registration number as assigned by the Commission. When the licensee's or registrant's name appears on shipping documents, its Commission license or registration number shall also be included.

(b) Stationery and billing forms. The name and license or registration number of each OTI shall be permanently imprinted on the licensee's or registrant's office stationery and billing forms.

(c) Use of license or registration by others; prohibition. No OTI shall permit its name, license, license number, registration, or registration number to be used by any person who is not an employee or an agent of the OTI. An entity that also provides OTI services in its own name and not on behalf of a licensed or registered OTI must be separately licensed under this part and must provide proof of its own financial responsibility and publish a tariff, if applicable. A branch office of an OTI may use the license of the OTI, provided that the address of the branch office has been reported to the Commission in Form FMC-18 or pursuant to §515.20(e).

(d) Arrangements with ocean transportation intermediaries whose licenses have been revoked. Unless prior written approval from the Commission has been obtained, no OTI shall, directly or indirectly:

(1) Agree to perform ocean transportation intermediary services on shipments as an associate, correspondent, officer, employee, agent, or sub-agent of any person whose license has been revoked or suspended pursuant to §515.16, or registration terminated or suspended pursuant to §515.19(g);

(2) Assist in the furtherance of any ocean transportation intermediary business of an OTI whose license has been revoked;

(3) Share forwarding fees or freight compensation with any such person; or

(4) Permit any such person, directly or indirectly, to participate, through ownership or otherwise, in the control or direction of the ocean transportation intermediary business of the licensee or registrant.

(e) False or fraudulent claims, false information. No OTI shall prepare or file or assist in the preparation or filing of any claim, affidavit, letter of indemnity, or other paper or document concerning an ocean transportation intermediary transaction which it has reason to believe is false or fraudulent, nor shall any such OTI knowingly impart to a principal, shipper, common carrier or other person, false information relative to any ocean transportation intermediary transaction.

(f) Errors and omissions of the principal or shipper. An OTI who has reason to believe that its principal or shipper has not, with respect to a shipment to be handled by such OTI, complied with the laws of the United States, or has made any error or misrepresentation in, or omission from, any export declaration, bill of lading, affidavit, or other document which the principal or shipper executes in connection with such shipment, shall advise its principal or shipper promptly of the suspected noncompliance, error, misrepresentation or omission, and shall decline to participate in any transaction involving such document until the matter is properly and lawfully resolved.

(g) Response to requests of Commission. Upon the request of any authorized representative of the Commission, an OTI shall make available promptly for inspection or reproduction all records and books of account in connection with its ocean transportation intermediary business, and shall respond promptly to any lawful inquiries by such representative. All OTIs are responsible for requiring that, upon the request of any authorized Commission representative, their agents make available all records and books of account relating to ocean transportation intermediary service provided by or for their principals, and respond promptly to any lawful inquiries by such representative.

(h) Express written authority. No OTI shall endorse or negotiate any draft, check, or warrant drawn to the order of its OTI principal or shipper without the express written authority of such OTI principal or shipper.

(i) Accounting to principal or shipper. An OTI shall account to its principal(s) or shipper(s) for overpayments, adjustments of charges, reductions in rates, insurance refunds, insurance monies received for claims, proceeds of C.O.D. shipments, drafts, letters of credit, and any other sums due such principal(s) or shipper(s).

(j) Prohibition. No person may advertise or hold out to act as an OTI unless that person holds a valid OTI license or is registered under this part.

[80 FR 68736, Nov. 5, 2015]

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§515.32   Freight forwarder duties.

(a) Notice of shipper affiliation. When a licensed freight forwarder is a shipper or seller of goods in international commerce or affiliated with such an entity, the licensed freight forwarder shall have the option of:

(1) Identifying itself as such and/or, where applicable, listing its affiliates on its office stationery and billing forms, or

(2) Including the following notice on such items:

This company is a shipper or seller of goods in international commerce or is affiliated with such an entity. Upon request, a general statement of its business activities and those of its affiliates, along with a written list of the names of such affiliates, will be provided.

(b) Arrangements with unauthorized persons. No licensed freight forwarder shall enter into an agreement or other arrangement (excluding agency arrangements not prohibited by law or this part) with an unlicensed person that bestows any fee, compensation, or other benefit upon the unlicensed person. When a licensed freight forwarder is employed to perform forwarding services by the agent of the person responsible for paying for such services, the licensed freight forwarder shall also transmit a copy of its invoice for services rendered to the person paying those charges.

(c) Information provided to the principal. No licensed freight forwarder shall withhold any information concerning a forwarding transaction from its principal, and each licensed freight forwarder shall comply with the laws of the United States and shall exercise due diligence to assure that all information provided to its principal or provided in any export declaration, bill of lading, affidavit, or other document which the licensed freight forwarder executes in connection with a shipment is accurate.

(d) Invoices; documents available upon request. Upon the request of its principal(s), each licensed freight forwarder shall provide a complete breakout of its charges and a true copy of any underlying document or bill of charges pertaining to the licensed freight forwarder's invoice. The following notice shall appear on each invoice to a principal:

Upon request, we shall provide a detailed breakout of the components of all charges assessed and a true copy of each pertinent document relating to these charges.

[64 FR 11171, Mar. 8, 1999, as amended at 80 FR 68737, Nov. 5, 2015]

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§515.33   Records required to be kept.

Each licensed or registered NVOCC and each licensed ocean freight forwarder shall maintain in an orderly and systematic manner, and keep current and correct, all records and books of account in connection with its OTI business. The licensed or registered NVOCC and each licensed freight forwarder may maintain these records in either paper or electronic form, which shall be readily available in usable form to the Commission; the electronically maintained records shall be no less accessible than if they were maintained in paper form. These recordkeeping requirements are independent of the retention requirements of other federal agencies. In addition, each licensed freight forwarder must maintain the following records for a period of five years:

(a) General financial data. A current running account of all receipts and disbursements, accounts receivable and payable, and daily cash balances, supported by appropriate books of account, bank deposit slips, canceled checks, and monthly reconciliation of bank statements.

(b) Types of services by shipment. A separate file shall be maintained for each shipment. Each file shall include a copy of each document prepared, processed, or obtained by the licensee, including each invoice for any service arranged by the licensee and performed by others, with respect to such shipment.

(c) Receipts and disbursements by shipment. A record of all sums received and/or disbursed by the licensee for services rendered and out-of-pocket expenses advanced in connection with each shipment, including specific dates and amounts.

(d) Special contracts. A true copy, or if oral, a true and complete memorandum, of every special arrangement or contract between a licensed freight forwarder and a principal, or modification or cancellation thereof.

[64 FR 11171, Mar. 8, 1999, as amended at 80 FR 68737, Nov. 5, 2015]

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