It’s also important to be familiar with the organizations that regulate marine commerce and traffic. There are two main marine regulatory organizations that anyone involved in ocean freight shipping should be aware of:
FMC (Federal Maritime Commission): This U.S. federal regulatory organization has jurisdiction over all U.S. marine ports. OTIs who operate in U.S. ports must obtain licensure from the FMC and obey all of its regulations.
IMO (International Maritime Organization): This UN regulatory organization sets high-level rules for global maritime trade that each member state’s government is responsible for implementing. The IMO doesn’t directly license businesses, but they create important regulations such as the Dangerous Goods Code.
Anyone interested in going into business as an OTI will need an in-depth knowledge of FMC and IMO regulations, but shippers should be aware of them too. One area that both shippers and OTIs should be familiar with is ocean freight shipping surety bonds.