Questions regarding FMC registered forwarder for shipments to USA

Here are a few questions regarding FMC registered forwarder and documentation, raised by Kashan Faiz Sajjad.. rq

I am a freight forwarder in Pakistan and not FMC registered, I have cargo destined for the US, and I ask my FMC registered agent in the US to issue their HBL. So is this workable? Is there any problem that I am going to face regarding this?

If your partner in USA is an FMC registered forwarder and you are issuing their bill of lading which is also registered by the FMC, it is perfectly alright.. In fact, for shipments to USA, only bills of lading approved by the FMC are allowed..

I am booking at origin on behalf of my contarct with the shipping line’s origin office, but issuing my foreign agents (destination agent) HBL with the cargo. What are the points that I should look at prior finalizing the agreement with my agent to avoid huge billing from thier side. Should I fix certain tariffs in the agreement itself?

On the USA trade with most shipping lines, it is very rare that they will allow you – a non FMC registered NVOCC – to be the holder of the service contract..

As far as i know usually the shipping lines will only enter into a service contract with an FMC registered forwarder/NVOCC.. You will have to work in conjunction with your agent on this one..

If I consign my cargo to my FMC agent in Florida where as cargo is for some other state, then is this ok?

As per my understanding, the FMC registration is national and does not relate to that state alone, so this would be in order..

What if I send the cargo on MBL only, whether it is prepaid or collect, on the name of direct shipper/consignee? Where is the FMC registered BL in this case?

If you are going to us the shipping lines MBL only, there is no involvement of your agent or any other forwarder or NVOCC in the USA..

Any shipping line that operates to the USA must be registered by the FMC as a Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (VOCCs) or ocean common carrier and only then they can issue a bill of lading..

Open for comments.. As these questions are specifically related to USA, if anyone involved in Logistics/Forwarding/Shipping in the USA would like to improve on these answers please feel free to do so..

What did you think of the above article..?? Comment below..

10 comments on “Questions regarding FMC registered forwarder for shipments to USA

  1. jennylun says:

    I have shipment and booking with cosolidatore to USA, and our company does not have FMC, should it be a problem or not if this is just a consolidation ? Can we use our HBL (no FMC)

    1. Hi Jenny, if you are issuing your house bill it has to be registered with FMC..

  2. Erica says:

    could you please advise us, step by step for register FMC? due to our company wanna register of B/L. waiting from you

  3. Rosie says:

    Dear Mr. Hariesh,

    What can happen if non-FMC-registered HBL is issued for a shipment destined to US (in this case, we place booking with a forwarder who has service contract with shipping lines & have them file AMS/ISF for this shpt)

    And how about shipments destined to Canada port? Must we use HBL registered with some organization?

    1. Delan Premawardena says:

      In the event you move cargo on BL that is not FMC registered to the USA you are bound to be penalized heavily, the penalties are huge (Usd50,000.00 and more).

      You dont need to have a FMC registered BL for shipments consigned to Canada

    2. Thank you for the comments Delan, appreciate it..

  4. TOS says:

    I wish to understand the process for a non US based forwarder to get his own BL registered with FMC,
    does the forwarder need separate registration with SCAC ?, how does the forwarder file ACD for the House BL he issues.

  5. Jackie says:

    Hi Hariesh,

    Just wanted to say that you did well with your explaination above and confirm that you are correct, it does not matter what state the cargo originates from, it can depart from any other state within the US.

  6. anirban says:

    Is there any relationship between SCAC Code and FMC?

    1. Hi Anirban, these two are different but unique to USA and a requirement for shipments to USA..

      SCAC code is an abbreviation for The Standard Carrier Alpha Code and it is a unique two-to-four-letter code allocated to transportation companies and is used to identify them in computerised data exchanges..

      Any carrier operating transportation services to USA is required to have a SCAC code and this code should be advised to the US Customs via the AMS (Automated Manifest System).. This code is essential to the communication process with U.S. Customs as this code allows them to transmit load and no-load information to the relevant load ports, only based on which the load port will load the cargo on board the ship.. When NVOCC’s file their manifest, they are required to include this SCAC code as the “second notify” party on cargo declarations submitted to U.S. Customs for cargo booked with the contracted carrier..

      FMC is an abbreviation for The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) which is an independent federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. international ocean transportation system for the benefit of U.S. exporters, importers, and the U.S. consumers.. FMC registration is mandatory for any carrier operating services in USA..

      The relationship or common factor between these two is the shipment itself as without the SCAC Code or an FMC registration, cargo cannot be imported into the USA..

(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes)
You may also like :