With a stated long term policy goal of solving problems with port congestion, shipping costs and extending regulatory oversight to international ocean carriers, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 came into effect on June 16. The statute prohibits certain acts by ocean common carriers and marine terminal operators. The intention is to develop exports through a “competitive and efficient system for the carriage of goods by water in foreign commerce.” The prohibited acts include retaliation against shippers by refusing to carry cargo when there still exists available space on vessels. It also establishes obligations to provide information on carrier invoices and sets penalties for inaccurate or false invoices for equipment detention and demurrage. The statute creates a “national shipping exchange” to connect shippers with common carriers, and charges the Federal Maritime Commission with establishing regulations to implement this Act. The FMC is required to maintain data and statistics on loaded and empty containers, including “street time” and “dwell time.” The Act imposes reporting duties for this type of information on: ports, marine terminal operators and chassis owners. The FMC is appropriated funds to enforce these new obligations and to study best practices in chassis management.
JGL will continue to monitor the FMC rulemaking process, its penalty procedures and the statistics compiled under the Act to maintain clients and friends informed.
©2022 Jiménez, Graffam & Lausell. This material is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship. Please consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.