Ocean Compliance Software that Meets FMC Regulatory Requirements

In order to maintain FMC Compliance, any cargo transported by an ocean carrier or Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) into or out of the U.S. via water, the carrier must file its “available to anyone” (open) rates as public record in the form of a “tariff.” For NVOCCs and carriers, this can present an enormous volume of rate transactions because of global trade areas and market demand. For small- to medium-sized NVOCCs and carriers, the challenge lies in cost-effectively addressing these FMC compliance issues. Regardless of size, all carriers share the critical business need to correctly calculate bottom-line prices in this complex pricing environment.

Descartes Ocean Compliance™ helps ocean carriers comply with the FMC filing requirements, and also helps manage the rate information for cargo that moves according to the terms of a privately-negotiated service contract or NVOCC Service Arrangement (NSA) rather than the public rates of a tariff. Experts estimate that approximately 80% of all containerized cargo moves involve service contracts, and in the U.S., carriers and NVOCCs must file every initial contract/NSA and contract/NSA amendment to the FMC. In addition, they must make selected terms of the contract available to the public via the Internet. Handling these complex processes requires expertise and efficiency, and Descartes Ocean Compliance provides a range of services to help carriers more effectively manage this process in a cost-effective manner while maintaining FMC compliance.


  • Tariff Publishing Service. Standardizes all rate filings into one consistent format and one centralized system. Allows full compliance with FMC requirements, helping to avoid costly fines and penalties.
  • Centralized Pricing Information. Captures, stores, and presents pricing information so that staff across an entire organization can access it in real-time. Lets users look up rates and calculate bottom-line rate scenarios based on specified shipment parameters.
  • FMC Compliance. Automatically sends the “essential terms” to the FMC, and presents the required five public terms via a Descartes application or carrier’s own web site.
  • Data Maintenance. Includes storage and filing of rates into a off-site data center equipped with state-of the art security.
  • Accurate Calculations. Uses publishing experts to review and coordinate tariff surcharges and write algorithmic statements to ensure proper calculations — removing the burden from the logistics service provider.
  • Tariff, Commodity and TLI Creation and Maintenance. Descartes spends time with each customer to understand how they do business and determine when rates are subject to, or inclusive of, a “governing tariff” surcharge.
  • Service Options. Includes ‘FMC compliance only.’ Enables customers to send three documents: a blank Bill of Lading, an FMC-187 form and a FMC license. Creates a “shell” tariff, allowing Descartes to quickly make customers compliant with the FMC.
  • Bond & Insurance. Provides insurance for freight forwarders and NVOCCs to comply with FMC requirements.
  • Historical Data . Enables customers to capture and maintain a database of rate and service contract history.

FMC Compliance

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Neptune Shipping

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Ocean Shipping Reform Act

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