SPEEDEX FREIGHT SYSTEMS NRA IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES
1. The first step is to give public Notice that SpeedEx Freight Systems (“SpeedEx”) is adopting NRAs by providing the following Notice on its Quote Sheets, Booking Confirmations, e-mail footers, house bills, or other documents (whichever electronic document SpeedEx or its agents would use in making quotations and follow-up with changes on quotations): “Carrier has opted to be exempt from tariff publication requirements per 46 C.F.R. §520 and 532 by utilizing Negotiated Rate Arrangements (“NRAs”). Carrier’s Quotations, however communicated, contain NRA offer(s) by Carrier. Acceptance of the quotation shall become binding after receipt of the cargo by the carrier or its agent. Carrier’s Rules Tariff is provided free of charge at: http://speedex.ca . Carrier reserves the right to modify its NRA rate/charges offer prior to Carrier or its agent receiving the cargo for transport. All origin and destination local charges apply whether or not included in SpeedEx’s Rules Tariff or in quotations”.
2. While SpeedEx will not be publishing any more rates and will not require a rate tariff, it will need to maintain and publish an NRA Rules Tariff in your web-site. We will prepare a Rules Tariff which you can use. The only item we will need to modify is Rule 8, which is a copy of the front and the terms and conditions of your current house bill of lading. See item 5 below. Please provide us with a Word copy of your Terms and Conditions on your bill of lading, if you haven’t done so already. If you do not have a Word copy, send us by overnight courier a copy of your bill of lading (front and back).
3. Since you are bringing the Rules Tariff in-house we will need to file your FMC No. 1 to show your web-site address where the NRA Rules will be located. Once the Rules Tariff is on your web site and we have filed the FMC No. 1, from this time on, you will not need to publish rates. Surcharges can be maintained in your Rules Tariff, but we are sure that you quote these on a line item basis in your quotation, and that is sufficient. In other words, if you quote a surcharge it does not have to be in your Rules Tariff. Or, of course, you can quote “All-In” and no surcharges are added; or it can be expressed, for example, “All-In, except the following: BAF $$$; PSS $$$; etc. Note also that local origin and destination charges are incorporated in the boilerplate language and do not have to be included in the quote or in the Rules Tariff. See last sentence above in Paragraph 1.
4. The Title Page in the NRA Rules Tariff will relate to the implementation of NRAs in your NRA Rules Tariff.
5. Your Rules Tariff will be constructed to conform to NRA procedures. We would provide that the NRA Rules Tariff would become effective immediately.
a. The NRA Rules Tariff should be put on your web site. Let us know when you accomplish this and we will submit FMC No. 1, which is done electronically and tells the FMC you have opted to implement the tariff exemption rules.
b. We assume that SpeedEx quotes all applicable surcharges, which is fine. However do note that the NRA Rules Tariff will contain a rule for local port charges without them having to be identified specifically or quoted specifically in your quotation or in the Rules Tariff. The following would appear in the quotation document(s) and in your Rules Tariff: “All origin and destination local charges apply whether or not included SpeedEx Rules Tariff or in quotations” (See Paragraph 1 above).
However, the conventional surcharges should be in the quotation if they apply, which is our understanding of what you do now. As we discussed, you may have a concern about floating BAF’s for various ocean carriers—i.e., changing on a regular basis. You may want to have these included in your Rules Tariff as they become known to you by the carrier, and when you quote include a BAF line item: “BAF charges per our Rules Tariff.”
c. The NRA rules require a written communication, but not an executed writing. The exchanges (usually e-mails) should indicate that the shipper/consignee is in agreement with the quoted rates/charges. Nothing formal is required. But it should be readily inferred from the exchange that the shipper/consignee accepted the rates and charges quoted. In any case, there is a tariff rule indicating that once cargo is received at the terminal (for port to port moves) or by the NVOCCs trucking agent for door moves, this constitutes acceptance of the quoted rates and charges. There will be a similar rule with regard to booking cargo constituting acceptance of the quoted rates and charges.
d. Overseas Agents. Agents should be quoting the actual sell rates, the amounts actually invoiced to the customer. We would provide you with an NRA Agents Guidelines. As we discussed, SpeedEx does not have to know its agents sell rates so long as they follow the quote procedures and maintain the electronic record in their archives.
e. Rates and charges quotes cannot be changed once cargo is delivered to the Piers or to the Container Yard, or once the trucker has picked-up the cargo on “Door” moves. In other words, if surcharges should change after a quotation is made but before the cargo is received; the NVOCC can withdraw its quotation and submit a new one. As we mentioned before, there is no “30 day” effective date rule for rate increases as there is for rate publishing under the current tariff system.
6. SpeedEx or its agents are required to keep hard copy and/or electronic communications for each shipping transaction that supports the rates and charges made on the transaction for five years, and SpeedEx’s agents must provide it to SpeedEx within a reasonable time if SpeedEx should request these. These are the normal records which are kept and do not require any special document.