Trade Rules Committee admin October 27, 2023


The NGFA’s Trade Rules Committee formulates and recommends rule changes to the NGFA membership. Rules are proposed that reflect trade practice and facilitate trade between NGFA members specifically, as well as between all firms in the grain, feed and processing industry generally.

The Trade Rules Committee consists of four subcommittees – Grain Trade Rules, Feed Trade Rules, Barge Trade Rules and Barge Freight Trading Rules – with a general chairman and four subcommittee chairmen. The subcommittees annually or more frequently if needed, review the rules to ensure they reflect current trade practices.

Pursuant to the NGFA Bylaws, NGFA members receive 30 days’ notice of proposed changes to the Trade Rules. Approval is by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership at the annual business meeting. Amendments to the Trade Rules become effective 30 days after the date of adoption.

The NGFA Bylaws also provide that changes to the Trade Rules may be approved by the Board of Directors, subject to affirmation by the membership at the next annual meeting.

Committee Chairman: Dean O’Harris, Great Lakes Grain & Transportation LLC, Buckeye, Ariz.
NGFA Staff Liaisons: Charlie Delacruz and Mary Hitchcock

The Rail Arbitration Rules, first adopted on Aug. 24, 1998, supplement the Arbitration Rules. The Rail Arbitration Rules are applicable to disputes between railroads and their customers using the NGFA Arbitration System. 

NGFA-member railroads and their customers can use the NGFA Arbitration System to resolve any type of dispute where both agree. All NGFA Active, Allied and Transportation members are covered by, and have access to, NGFA rail arbitration unless they notify the NGFA of their desire to withdraw from the Rail Arbitration System within 30 days of membership approval. Thereafter, an Active, Allied or Transportation member may withdraw from the Rail Arbitration System after providing 90-day’s advance notice to the NGFA Secretary. See the Participants in Rail Arbitration below for a list of any NGFA-member rail carrier(s) or Active member(s) electing to withdraw from the Rail Arbitration System. 

In addition, nearly all Class I railroads and some shortline and regional railroads have agreed to enter confidential mediation on certain rate-related issues upon request by a NGFA Active or Allied member.