Background

The Federal Maritime Commission has added one carrier to its list of controlled carriers, which are ocean common carriers operating in U.S.-foreign trades that are, or whose operating assets are, directly or indirectly owned or controlled by foreign governments. Congress has authorized the FMC to exercise increased regulatory oversight of controlled carriers, whose marketplace decision-making can be influenced by foreign governmental priorities or by their access to non-market sources of capital, to ensure they do not engage in unreasonable below-market pricing practices that could disrupt trade or harm privately-owned shipping companies.

For example, the FMC may prohibit the publication or use of a rate, charge, classification, rule, or regulation that a controlled carrier has failed to demonstrate is just and reasonable. Further, in an action for a breach of a service contract, the dispute resolution forum cannot in any way be controlled by or affiliated with a controlled carrier or the government that owns or controls it.

The FMC notes that the controlled carrier list is not a comprehensive list of foreign-owned or -controlled ships or ship owners but instead is only a list of ocean common carriers controlled by governments.

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