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The Federal Maritime Commission

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The Federal Maritime Commission is a federal agency located in Washington, D.C. whose purpose is to regulate ocean transportation in the United States. It was founded in 1961 and replaced the United States Federal Maritime Board, which regulated both ocean commerce and the Merchant Marine, a group that transports passengers and freight during times of peace.

Shipping laws

After its creation in 1961, the enforcement of the FMC's laws was divided between the Commission and the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each entity has an important role in watching over ocean transportation.
The Federal Maritime Commission oversees all regulatory laws, including those that govern specific shipments and requirements. These laws serve to monitor and maintain proper shipping policies, and they are intended to make the industry more secure and safe.

The Maritime Administration, on the other hand, is in charge of all promotional laws that affect the United States Merchant Marine. In times of peace, the Merchant Marine may participate in the transportation of passengers and goods, though this does not usually include moving shipments. Promotional laws govern the fleet itself and provide regulations regarding the fleet's visibility.

The Federal Maritime Commission's mission

The Commission is responsible for several particular points, including:
  • Creating and enforcing international shipping laws
  • The licensing of marine terminal operators and ocean transportation intermediaries
  • Managing the financial responsibilities of cruise ship lines and passenger ship operators, namely when reimbursements for loss or damage are required
  • Looking after the U.S. shipping and maritime trade industries
  • Implementing regulations on the shipping industry
  • Evaluating and regulating agreements between shipping lines, marine terminals, and customers

Importance of the Federal Maritime Commission number

International movers that you are considering should always have a Federal Maritime Commission Number. It reassures customers in case a shipment is running late. Having this accreditation ensures that any issues will be dealt with professionally and in the best manner possible. It also helps to regulate charges (including those for storage) so that customers do not overpay due to unethical practices. The number also guarantees professionalism in dealing with loss and damage of property.

Essentially, the Federal Maritime Commission Number, much like the U.S. DOT number, is in place to assist in identifying reputable moving companies and transportation providers.

When choosing an international moving company, look for one that is licensed with the FMC and has this important number. Be wary of online services and companies that advertise fantastic services on their websites, as it is very easy to misrepresent details online.

Get estimates from several moving companies to ensure that your quote is reasonable within the industry, and make sure that all estimates are based on seeing and measuring your shipment. Avoid agreeing to anything over the phone without in-person consultations, and, like always, look for a mover who has a good track record with at least 10 years of continuous experience.

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on August 27, 2009 - Moving Expert
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