Federal Maritime Commission Bonds

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FMC-48 Bond Guide 

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) requires all Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs) to file an FMC-48 surety bond. Learn the ins and outs of FMC-48 bonds in this guide. 

What Is a Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Bond? 

FMC-48 bonds provide proof of financial security for OTIs including non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and ocean freight forwarders (OFFs). The FMC requires this bond to ensure the OTI (the bond principal) will act according to the Shipping Act of 1984 and FMC regulations. If the OTI violates provisions, the bond can be used to pay fines, proven claims and judgments against the OTI.

Why Get Your FMC-48 Bond With SuretyBonds.com?

SuretyBonds.com is the nation’s top surety provider. We offer the best service and fastest delivery for federal maritime commission bond prices in the industry. 

Apply for a free quote today or call to speak with a friendly surety expert about your bonding needs.

How Much Does a Federal Maritime Commission Bond Cost?

The bond premium price for an OTI is a small percentage of the total bond amount. Prices vary per applicant because these bonds require underwriting. For highly qualified applicants, FMC-48 bonds start at $450 for $75,000 in coverage or $300 for $50,000 in coverage.

SuretyBonds.com works with the top surety markets in the nation to find the best FMC bond cost for every applicant.

Bond Type
$50,000Federal Maritime Commission BondOcean freight forwarder
$75,000Federal Maritime Commission BondU.S.-based NVOCC and licensed non-U.S.-based NVOCC

Why Do I Need an FMC-48 Bond?

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the U.S. federal agency responsible for regulating international ocean transportation, including monitoring and licensing all ocean-based shipping. Because OTIs provide various international ocean transportation services, the FMC requires them to obtain a surety bond as proof of financial security. 

OFF License & Bond Requirements 

  • Ocean freight forwarders must obtain a license and file an FMC-48 surety bond. The bond must provide $50,000 of coverage, with an additional $10,000 of coverage for each U.S. unincorporated branch office.

NVOCC License & Bond Requirements 

  • NVOCCs in the U.S. need to obtain a license and a surety bond and publish a tariff. A published tariff details the actual rates, charges, classifications, rules, regulations and practices of a common carrier. 
  • Licensed NVOCCs, whether they are in the U.S. or operating internationally, must carry a $75,000 bond plus $10,000 for each U.S. unincorporated branch office. 
  • Unlicensed, non-U.S.-based NVOCCs must carry a $150,000 bond.

How to Get an OTI License

To apply for an Ocean Transportation Intermediary license, you must meet these qualifications:

  • Have 3+ years of demonstrable OTI experience
  • Must be a partner, officer or sole proprietor of the applying business

Once these are met, you can begin the OTI licensing process:

  • File Form FMC-18 with the FMC
  • Submit proof of financial responsibility in the form of a surety bond

Getting an FMC-48/OTI bond is easy and fast with SuretyBonds.com. Simply fill out our quick, online application and we’ll find the best available quote for you. 

After purchasing the bond through our secure online checkout, OFFs and NVOCCs can submit the bond in a group using Form FMC-69, or individually using Form FMC-48

Note: OTI bonds are cancellable with 30 days written notice to the FMC. If the bond is canceled, the OTI’s license will be revoked. 

Additional Resources

Call 1 (800) 308-4358 to talk with a Surety Expert