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WATCH Instructional Video on How to File FMC Complaints



The Federal Maritime Commission has published a multimedia presentation that gives a step-by-step instruction on how the public can bring complaints at the FMC. These can range from reporting information that may trigger an investigation to initiating formal civil litigation that can provide wronged parties damages and restitution.


Viewers will learn how to determine which process is most beneficial to achieving a complainant’s desired outcome. The video has three segments that explain how to report a potential violation of the law to Commission investigative staff for possible enforcement action; how to work with the Commission’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS) to achieve speedy commercial solutions; and finally, how to file small claims or formal civil complaints heard by the Commission’s Administrative Law Judge.


Each segment provides instruction on how to initiate a process, information the Commission will require to move forward, and an explanation of how each process will progress, including potential outcomes.


Creating an instructional video explaining the different complaints processes and their respective merits was one of the Interim Recommendations made by Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye in July 2021 resulting from her work leading Fact Finding 29. During her investigation, she found that some members of the trade community were confused about how to approach the Federal Maritime Commission to report suspected wrongdoing or to seek formal relief.


Commissioner Dye said, “One of my recommendations to the Commission arising from Fact Finding 29 was to provide more information to the public about our programs and avenues of redress for stakeholder problems available here at the Commission. I am pleased that this webinar advances that goal and I look forward to the development of additional tools by the Commission to assist the public.”


This webinar complements an advisory Commissioner Dye issued in February outlining ways in which parties can pursue demurrage and detention complaints.


The video can be watched in its entirety, but for viewers looking to jump to a particular section, information on reporting a violation begins at 3:50, instructions on how to work with CADRS begins at 8:30, and an explanation of the civil litigation process begins at 13:21.

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