Background

The Federal Maritime Commission is continuing to implement provisions of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 and expects to make announcements soon on the following efforts.

- A proposed rule on unreasonable refusal to deal or negotiate on vessel space accommodations is expected to be published in the immediate future and the FMC is on track to have a final rule in effect by this December.

- A request for public comment will soon be issued on a proposed plan for gathering import and export information, including total import and export tonnage and total loaded and empty 20-foot equivalents per vessel, from vessel-operating common carriers transporting more than 99 percent of imported and exported containerized cargo.

- The Transportation Research Board will be contracted to conduct a study and develop best practices for on-terminal or near-terminal chassis pools.

- Public comments will be requested on potential FMC temporary emergency authority.

- An interim one-stop Web-based gateway for submitting comments, complaints, concerns, and requests for investigations will be established to serve as a bridge while a longer-term product is developed.

In addition, the FMC has already taken the following steps to implement OSRA provisions.

- launched an interim process for submitting complaints disputing charges assessed by common carriers, including demurrage and detention fees

- consolidated the agency’s investigative and prosecution functions into a newly created Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations, and Compliance, effective July 29; this change includes converting area representatives to investigators, increasing the number of investigators on staff, and having investigators focus exclusively on enforcement activity

- notified the trade community that a number of OSRA provisions became effective as of June 16

- initiated efforts to add nine staff members to enhance the FMC’s investigatory capacity

ST&R’s team of former FMC and DOJ litigation personnel, freight forwarders, and former administration and congressional staffers can help shippers understand, comply with, and take advantage of OSRA 22. For more information, please contact Jason Kenner (at (212) 549-0137 or via email), Andy Margolis (at (305) 894-1021 or via email), or Ned Steiner (at (202) 730-4970 or via email.)

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