Grain News


NGFA Adopts Changes to NGFA Arbitration Rules and NGFA Trade Rules

Date Posted: April 4, 2014

NGFA’s general membership and the NGFA Board of Directors adopted several changes to the association’s Arbitration Rules and Trade Rules, during the annual convention.

The first amendment, which was ratified by the membership during the annual business meeting, increases the cap in NGFA Rail Arbitration Rule 2(e) on claims for mandatory arbitration under the NGFA Rail Arbitration System from $200,000 to $400,000.

The Board of Directors approved this amendment last year following the recommendation of the NGFA Rail Arbitration Rules Committee, which had considered numerous factors, including cost increases in rail rates, commodity prices and overall inflation.

The second set of amendments, which was approved by the NGFA Board of Directors during its meeting on April 1, involved a major overhaul of the NGFA Arbitration Rules conducted at the direction of the Arbitration Appeals Panel.

This initiative resulted in a comprehensive restructuring and other improvements to:

- Simplify the terms and improve consistency, clarity and organization.

- Provide for broader understanding for members and nonmembers.

- Replace cumbersome, redundant and outdated terms and provisions.

- Provide a more concise, streamlined document, which follows a more logical, sequential pattern.

Third, the Board of Directors approved changes to provisions in NGFA’s Grain Trade Rules, Feed Trade Rules and Barge Trade Rules that refer to trading “Bills of Lading.”

These changes were recommended by the NGFA Trade Rules Committee following an in-depth review by a broadbased task force that sought to clarify the intent of the rules and incorporate developments in uses and terminology related in particular to order bills of lading.

Fourth, the Board of Directors approved changes to Barge Freight Trading Rule 18(J), which provides for the annual “opening of the mid- Mississippi” by a special three-person NGFA committee.

The NGFA Trade Rules Committee recommended that the rule be amended to clarify that the opening of the river is triggered by the “first empty dry cargo covered barge” to reach Dubuque, Iowa, which originated at or below Winfield, Mo.

The amendment to the NGFA Rail Arbitration Rules, which was ratified by the general membership, became effective after the board approved it last year.

The three sets of newly approved board changes to the Arbitration Rules and Trade Rules become effective 30 days after the date of adoption (May 1, 2014), and will be subject to ratification by the general membership at the next annual meeting in March 2015.

For more information, call 202-289-0873.

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