46 CFR § 515.23 - Claims against an ocean transportation intermediary.

(a) Who may seek payment. Shippers, common carriers, and other affected persons may seek payment from the bond, insurance, or other surety maintained by an ocean transportation intermediary for damages arising out of its ocean transportation-related activities. The Commission may also seek payment of civil penalties assessed under section 13 of the Shipping Act (46 U.S.C. 41107-41109).

(b) Payment pursuant to a claim.

(1) If a person does not file a complaint with the Commission pursuant to section 11 of the Shipping Act (46 U.S.C. 41301-41302, 41305-41307(a)), but otherwise seeks to pursue a claim against an ocean transportation intermediary bond, insurance, or other surety for damages arising from its transportation-related activities, it shall attempt to resolve its claim with the financial responsibility provider prior to seeking payment on any judgment for damages obtained. When a claimant seeks payment under this section, it simultaneously shall notify both the financial responsibility provider and the ocean transportation intermediary of the claim by mail or courier service. The bond, insurance, or other surety may be available to pay such claim if:

(i) The ocean transportation intermediary consents to payment, subject to review by the financial responsibility provider; or

(ii) The ocean transportation intermediary fails to respond within forty-five (45) days from the date of the notice of the claim to address the validity of the claim, and the financial responsibility provider deems the claim valid.

(2) If the parties fail to reach an agreement in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section within ninety (90) days of the date of the initial notification of the claim, the bond, insurance, or other surety shall be available to pay any final judgment for reparations ordered by the Commission or damages obtained from an appropriate court. The financial responsibility provider shall pay such judgment for damages only to the extent they arise from the transportation-related activities of the ocean transportation intermediary, ordinarily within thirty (30) days, without requiring further evidence related to the validity of the claim; it may, however, inquire into the extent to which the judgment for damages arises from the ocean transportation intermediary's transportation-related activities.

(c) Notices of court and other claims against OTIs by financial responsibility providers.

(1) As provided in each financial responsibility instrument between an OTI and its financial responsibility provider(s), the issuing financial responsibility provider shall submit a notice to the Commission of each claim, court action, or court judgment against the financial responsibility and each claim paid (including the amount) by the provider.

(2) Notices described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section shall be promptly submitted in writing by mail or email (bcl@fmc.gov) to the Director, Bureau of Certification and Licensing, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573.

(3) Notices required by this section shall include the name of the claimant, name of the court and case number assigned, and the name and license or organization number of the OTI involved. Such notices may include or attach other information relevant to the claim.

(d) The Federal Maritime Commission shall not serve as depository or distributor to third parties of bond, guaranty, or insurance funds in the event of any claim, judgment, or order for reparation.

(e) Optional bond riders. The Federal Maritime Commission shall not serve as a depository or distributor to third parties of funds payable pursuant to optional bond riders described in § 515.25(b).

[80 FR 68735, Nov. 5, 2015, as amended at 84 FR 62468, Nov. 15, 2019]