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Notice of Proposed Demurrage & Detention Rule May Be Issued in Oct.

FMC Press Release Posted September 22, 2022 -- The Federal Maritime Commission was briefed at its September meeting, held Wednesday, on progress implementing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA) and the findings of the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI).


Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel discussed his work leading the MTDI and shared what this project identified as key data gaps in moving an ocean container from mode-to-mode. The MTDI lasted from December 2021-June 2022, during which time 18 public meetings were held exploring data challenges across the entire maritime supply chain.


Commission staff reported on progress in implementing OSRA and discussed the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on demurrage and detention billing requirements that is anticipated to be issued in October. OSRA requires the Commission to issue a rulemaking revising the minimum information that common carriers must include on demurrage or detention invoices as well as further define prohibited practices by common carriers, marine terminal operators, shippers, and ocean transportation intermediaries under 46 U.S.C. 41102(c) regarding the assessment of demurrage or detention charges.


In related news, the Commission will begin using Regulations.Gov for all its rulemaking activity in the near future. This move to the Regulations.Gov platform will make filing comments, and finding information about, Commission rulemakings easier and more streamlined for the public. The Commission will issue instructions on how to use Regulations.Gov as well as guidance on when the public should use or check the agency’s existing Dockets webpage to track the Commission’s rulemaking activities.


In the closed session of the meeting, Commissioners had further discussions on the NPRM on demurrage and detention billing requirements, and also discussed work being done to establish a permanent process for handling Charge Complaints. The Commission has been handling Charge Complaints using interim procedures since July 2022. Discussion about these items was held in private to allow the Commission to deliberate on policy considerations, proposed text, and other internal matters.


Staff reported that substantial progress has been made in implementing many of the requirements established by OSRA. Since the law’s enactment on June 16, 2022, the Commission has issued the NPRM on unreasonable refusal to deal in regard to vessel space and will soon publish the NPRM on demurrage and detention billing practices. Additionally, two requests for public comment were issued, seeking feedback on the benefits of issuing an emergency order on information sharing, and secondly, the Commission’s proposed plan for establishing a data collection initiative related to an ocean carrier’s import and export performance in the U.S. trades.


The Commission has established a dedicated landing page on its website where interested members of the public can track the status of OSRA implementation.

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