(1) A common carrier or a shipper may file a special docket application seeking permission for a common carrier or conference to refund or waive collection of a portion of freight charges if there is:

(i) An error in the tariff;

(ii) An error in failing to publish a new tariff; or

(iii) An error in quoting a tariff .

(2) Such refund or waiver must not result in discrimination among shippers, ports, or carriers.

(b) Such application must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of sailing of the vessel from the port at which the cargo was loaded. An application is filed when it is placed in the mail, delivered to a courier, or, if delivered by another method, when it is received by the Commission. Filings by mail or courier must include a certification as to date of mailing or delivery to the courier.

(c) Prior to submission of the application for a refund for an error in a tariff or a failure to publish a new tariff, the carrier or conference must publish a new tariff which sets forth the rate on which refund or waiver would be based.

(d) Such application must be in accordance with Exhibit 1 to this Subpart and must also comply with the following requirements:

(1) Applications must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573-0001.

(2) Applications must be submitted in an original and one (1) copy.

(3) Applications must be sworn to before a notary public or otherwise verified in accordance with §502.112.

(4) When a rate published in a conference tariff is involved, the carrier or shipper must serve a copy of the application on the conference and so certify in accordance with §502.117 to that service in the application. A shipper must also make a similar service and certification with respect to the common carrier.

(5) Applications must be accompanied by remittance of a $115 filing fee.

(e) Any application which does not furnish the information required by this Subpart may be returned to the applicant by the Secretary without prejudice to resubmission within the 180-day limitation period.


(1) The Secretary in his discretion shall either forward an application to the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services, for assignment to a Special Dockets Officer, or assign an application to the Office of Administrative Law Judges. Authority to issue decisions under this subpart is delegated to the assigned Special Dockets Officer or Administrative Law Judge.

(2) Applicants will be notified as to the assignment of a deciding official, and the assignment of a special docket number. Formal proceedings as described in other rules of this part need not be conducted. The deciding official may, in his or her discretion, require the submission of additional information.

(g) The deciding official shall issue a decision which, pursuant to §501.21 of this chapter, shall become final ten (10) days after service of such decision, unless the Commission in its discretion chooses to review such decision within that time, or the applicant chooses to file exceptions to such decision within that time. [Rule 271.]

[64 FR 7811, Feb. 17, 1999, as amended at 65 FR 81759, Dec. 27, 2000; 67 FR 39859, June 11, 2002; 70 FR 7669, Feb. 15, 2005; 70 FR 10329, Mar. 3, 2005; 70 FR 44867, Aug. 4, 2005; 81 FR 59144, Aug. 29, 2016; 83 FR 50294, Oct. 5, 2018; 85 FR 72578, Nov. 13, 2020]

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