Tariff Publications & FMC Compliance

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Tariff Data Systems (TDS) offers an affordable solution to maintain your tariffs. We can assist you in maintaining FMC compliance with all your required publications. We provide the tools you need to maintain compliance with the FMC. We also provide electronic verification of your filings sop you can have peace of mind. This is mainly accomplished through our web based system, Tariff Link™ Web.

Tariff Link™ Web is an Internet based tariff retrieval application and rate management tool developed to house and maintain tariffs for Ocean Transportation Industry. You can learn more about our online service here.


    A Legacy of Service

    Since opening our doors in 1985 we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide and have published thousands of tariffs. Our experts in tariff publishing can help you navigate the sometimes difficult waters of FMC compliance. We have helped a variety of clients put together a process to help them sail smoothly through the process. The most cost effective approach is to use our Tariff Link™ Web application as a way to maintain your filings and access your history of filings. The system is always available online. In addition, we have staff ready to help you with your tariffs. You can contact us anytime by email to get started.


    Need to transfer an existing tariff?

    We make the voyage to TDS easy. Let us help your compliance staff migrate to our system. We serve all companies needing to maintain tariff compliance. Just contact us today to get started.


Publication Requirements

As a Vessel Operating Common Carrier (VOCC) or a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC), you must publish a tariff if you serve foreign companies shipping into the US. Your tariffs should contain the following:

  • - Your rates & charges
  • - Cargo classifications
  • - Rules related to your carrier
  • - Common shipping practices

    When filing a tariff, you must maintain compliance with FMC regulations. The FMC enforces tariff filings. Failure to comply may result in sever penalties. TDS helps both established and new carriers to ensure you stay in compliance. You can view a list of current FMC fees online.


    Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs)

    The NRA can be used as a substitute for the tariff rate, but all cargo moving into the US still requires a tariff. This is not a substitute for filing and maintaining your tariffs. Also, NRAs cannot be amended once negotiated and a first shipment received. The duration, however, is flexible. There are no special privileges associated with a NRA , special volume discounts or other terms not otherwise provided in the FMC tariff rules. You must still comply with all filing regulations.

    The NRA will document the rate negotiated between the NVOCC carrier and the shipper under specified arrangements for specific cargo and cargo volume. The terms on the NRA can be applied to specific cargo or to NOS cargo for various commodities. The NRA must be negotiated and approved by the shipper and NVOCC before any cargo covered by the agreement can be received by the carrier.

    Things to consider

    We are here to help should you decide to implement a NRA. If you are considering an NRA, there are some things you need to know. First, an NVOCC must amend its tariff rules. The new rules must be accessible by shippers. Secondly, you will need to change your rate quotation. Each time your company has a shipment, you will need to obtain approval from the shipper. Finally, the FMC requires that you keep records for maintaining the NRA. You will need to create procedures to maintain the NRA shipping records as required by FMC regulations. While NRAs may be preferred by both carrier and shipper, you may want to contact us to discuss the specifics if you are considering this approach.


We Meet all FMC Requirements

Tariff Data Systems, as required by the FMC, has made provisions within Tariff Link™ to help your company stay in compliance with your tariff filings.


The FMC has staff dedicated to tariff enforcement at every major port in the US. What happens if you do not maintain compliance? The FMC has strict requirements for filing. If you are not in compliance, you may have to stop providing your services, which will have a significant effect on your profitability when shipping to the US.

The penalties for noncompliance are steep and accrue daily per offense. Depending on how the FMC investigators classify the penalty, it could be as high as $40,000.00 (and can change) per offense per day. You don't want to risk that type of expense. Keep your tariff reporting current.

FMC Regulations & Resources

The FMC came into the forefront of maritime regulations in 1961. The FMC is charged with the enforcing the regulatory provisions of shipping laws within the US. You can read the current shipping provisions here.

Additional resources for you to become familiar with FMC regulations and practices:

FMC web site

The FMC Reading Room (online)

Regular news releases from the FMC

Common questions and answers