As most of you are aware, on November 4, 2015 the Federal Maritime Commission issued a Final Rule involving various aspects of its regulations affecting Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs). As part of the Final Rule, the Commission now requires for the first time that OTIs renew their license every three (3) years. 46 C.F.R. §515.14(c). The Commission has begun the first round of alerting OTIs of their obligation to renew, sending notice to the email address the Commission has on file for a given OTI.
The renewal application process is to be completed by the OTI at least sixty (60) days prior to the renewal date “set forth on its license.” 46 C.F.R. §515.14(d). Because OTIs have not previously been required to renew, and thus did not have a renewal date on their license per se, the Commission has assigned initial renewal dates to OTI licenses, based on the last two numbers of the license. The Commission’s Bureau of Certification and Licensing will be sending “renewal” emails to OTIs ninety (90) days prior to the actual Commission-assigned renewal date. Thus a given OTI will have thirty (30) days to complete the renewal function in order to comply with §515.14(d).
As many OTIs rarely communicate with the Commission, a threshold step is to determine whether the Commission has a current and valid email address with the OTI; if there is any doubt, OTIs can communicate an updated email address to the Commission by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The pertinent email address should be that of the OTI’s Qualifying Individual.
Once received, the renewal email application will contain: 1) a username; 2) password; and 3) a link to the renewal site. Once logged in, the OTI will have the option of completing the renewal itself, or assigning it to a nominated third party (i.e. attorney or other practitioner). The actual renewal is a review of a pre-populated Commission form FMC-18, to ensure that all information is correct and up to date. There is no fee for the renewal and in and of itself the renewal process is not a re-certification of the OTI. However, OTIs are cautioned to carefully review what information is currently on file with the Commission to avoid any inadvertent disclosure violations that could occur during the renewal process.
For further information on process and how the Commission has assigned OTIs their renewal dates, please visit the Commission’s website here, and please contact The Scopelitis International Transportation & Logistics Law Team – Nathaniel Saylor, Chris McNatt, Jacob Fisher and John Dimitry.
This post was originally released via email from Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.