Background

The Federal Maritime Commission is proposing to further revise its regulations to bring more clarity, structure, and punctuality to the demurrage and detention billing practices of vessel-operating common carriers, non-vessel-operating common carriers, and marine terminal operators. This proposed rule implements parts of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 and includes the following provisions.

- requires VOCCs, NVOCCs, and MTOs to include specific minimum information (as mandated in the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022) in demurrage or detention invoices

- clarifies that VOCCs, NVOCCs, and MTOs may only issue detention or demurrage bills to parties that have contracted with them for the carriage of goods or space to store cargo (though the FMC wants comments on whether it would be appropriate to include the consignee named on the bill of lading as another party that could receive a bill)

- requires VOCCs, NVOCCs, and MTOs to issue invoices within 30 days after the charges stop accruing and provide 30 days to dispute the charges, with clear information about how charges should be disputed

Comments on this rule are due by Dec. 13.

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 and related FMC rules. 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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