48 CFR 470.201 - Acquisition of commodities and freight shipment for Foreign Agricultural Service programs.
(a) Lowest landed cost and delivery considerations.
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(3) and (4) of this section, in contracts for the Foreign Agricultural Service for commodities and related freight shipment for delivery to foreign destinations, the contracting officer shall consider the lowest landed cost of delivering the commodity to the intended destination. This lowest landed cost determination will be calculated on the basis of rates and service for that portion of the commodities being purchased that is determined is necessary and practicable to meet 46 U.S.C. 55314(c)(3) and cargo preference requirements and on an overall (foreign and U.S. flag) basis for the remaining portion of the commodities being procured and the additional factors set forth in this section. Accordingly, the solicitations issued with respect to a commodity procurement or a related freight procurement will specify that in the event an offer submitted by a party is the lowest offered price, the contracting officer reserves the right to reject such offer if the acceptance of another offer for the commodity or related freight, when combined with other offers for commodities or related freight, results in a lower landed cost to the Department.
(2) The Department may contact any port prior to award to determine the port's cargo handling capabilities, including the adequacy of the port to receive, accumulate, handle, store, and protect the cargo. Factors considered in this determination may include, but not be limited to, the adequacy of building structures, proper ventilation, freedom from insects and rodents, cleanliness, and overall good housekeeping and warehousing practices. The Department may consider the use of another coastal range or port if a situation exists at a port that may adversely affect the ability of the Department to have the commodity delivered in a safe and timely manner. Such situations include:
(i) A port is congested;
(ii) Port facilities are overloaded;
(iii) A vessel would not be able to dock and load cargo without delay;
(iv) Labor disputes or lack of labor may prohibit the loading of the cargo onboard a vessel in a timely manner; or
(v) Other similar situation that may adversely affect the ability of the Department to have the commodity delivered in a timely manner.
(3) Use of other than lowest landed cost. In order to ensure that commodities are delivered in a timely fashion to foreign destinations and without damage, the contracting officer may award an acquisition without regard to the lowest land cost process set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of this section if:
(i) The solicitation specifies that the lowest land cost process will not be followed in the completion of the contract; or
(ii) After issuance of the solicitation, it is determined that:
(A) Internal strife at the foreign destination or urgent humanitarian conditions threatens the lives of persons at the foreign destination;
(B) A specific port's cargo handling capabilities (including the adequacy of the port to receive, accumulate, handle, store, and protect commodities) and other similar factors may adversely affect the delivery of such commodities through damage or untimely delivery. Such similar factors include, but are not limited to: port congestion; overloaded facilities at the port; vessels not being able to dock and load cargo without delay due to conditions at the port; labor disputes or lack of labor may prohibit the loading of the cargo onboard a vessel in a timely manner; and the existence of inadequate or unsanitary warehouse and other supporting facilities;
(C) The total transit time of a carrier, as it relates to a final delivery date at the foreign destination may impair the timely delivery of the commodity;
(D) Other similar situations arise that materially affect the administration of the program for which the commodity or freight is being procured; or
(E) The contracting officer determines that extenuating circumstances preclude awards on the basis of lowest-landed cost, or that efficiency and cost-savings justify use of types of ocean service that would not involve an analysis of freight. However, in all such cases, commodities would be transported in compliance with cargo preference requirements. Examples of extenuating circumstances are events such as internal strife at the foreign destination or urgent humanitarian conditions threatening the lives of persons at the foreign destination. Other types of services may include, but are not limited to, multi-trip voyage charters, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ), delivery cost and freight (C & F), delivery cost insurance and freight (CIF), and indexed ocean freight costs.
(4) If a contracting officer determines that action may be appropriate under paragraph (a)(3) of this section, prior to the acceptance of any applicable offer, the contracting officer will provide to the Head of Contracting Activity Designee a written request to obtain commodities and freight in a manner other than on a lowest landed cost basis consistent with Title 48 Code of Federal Regulations. This request shall include a statement of the reasons for not using lowest landed cost basis. The Head of the Contracting Activity Designee, or the designee one level above the contracting officer, may either accept or reject this request and shall document this determination.
(b) Multiple offers or delivery points. If more than one offer for the sale of commodities is received or more than one delivery point has been designated in such offers, in order to achieve a combination of a freight rate and commodity award that produces the lowest landed cost for the delivery of the commodity to the foreign destination, the contracting officer shall evaluate offers submitted on a delivery point by delivery point basis; however, consideration shall be given to prioritized ocean transport service in determining lowest landed cost.
(c) Freight shipping and rates.
(1) In determining the lowest-landed cost, the Department shall use the freight rates offered in response to solicitations issued by the Department or, if applicable, the grantee organization.
(2) Freight rates offered must be submitted as specified in the solicitation issued by the Department or, if applicable, the grantee organization. Any such solicitation issued by a grantee organization must contain the following elements:
(i) If directed by the Department, include a closing time for the receipt of written freight offers and state that late written freight offers will not be considered;
(ii) Provide that freight offers are required to have a canceling date no later than the last contract lay day specified in the solicitation;
(iii) Provide the same deadline for receipt of written freight offers from both U.S. flag vessel and non-U.S. flag vessels; and
(iv) Be received and opened prior to any related offer for acquisition of commodities to be shipped.
(3) The Department may require organizations that will receive commodities from the Department to submit information relating to the capacity of a U.S. port, or, if applicable, a terminal, prior to the acquisition of such commodities or freight.
(d) Freight rate notification. If the Department is not the party procuring freight with respect to a shipment of an agricultural commodity for delivery to a foreign destination, the organization that will receive commodities from the Department, or its shipping agent, shall be notified by the Department of the vessel freight rate used in determining the commodity contract award and the organization will be responsible for finalizing the charter or booking contract with the vessel representing the freight rate.