Carriers cough up as complaints rain in at the FMC

Source: Splash247
Date: 27th January 2023

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has received more than 200 charge complaints since the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA) was enacted in June 2022. More than 70 of those complaints met the FMC’s threshold requirements to be referred to investigators.

Commission staff reported on January 25 that the charge complaint process is proving successful at promoting informal settlements as well as waivers of demurrage and detention billings. Staff estimates that more than $700,000 in charges have been refunded by carriers since June.

Commissioners were advised that both container volumes and freight rates on inbound trades have returned to essentially pre-pandemic levels. The cost to ship exports remains slightly elevated.

The FMC announced that it will issue a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to address issues commenters raised in response to the ‘Unreasonable Refusal to Deal or Negotiate with Respect to Vessel Space Accommodations’ proposed rule issued last September.

The commission received almost 30 comments in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on Unreasonable Refusal to Deal or Negotiate. The comments raised a multitude of substantive questions that demand appropriate time and further opportunity for comment to be given thorough consideration. The SNPRM will address those matters and provide the commission the opportunity to receive additional public comments.

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