Source: Federal Maritime Commission
On June 16, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA), enacted as Public Law 116-146. OSRA provides additional power to the FMC, and directs it to take a more proactive role in investigating carrier behavior, establishing rules governing fairness in detention and demurrage charges and enforcing carrier obligations. OSRA’s primary goals are to help mitigate the ongoing disruption to U.S. supply chains, and provide further support for U.S. exports.
On August 12, 2022, the FMC established a webpage dedicated to its actions and activities related to the implementation of OSRA, signaling that it “intends to act expeditiously to implement both the letter and the spirit of the Act”. The webpage provides links to key OSRA documents including rulemakings, Industry Advisories, and press releases, and will be updated as developments warrant.
The FMC reported that to date, it has:
- Issued a Request for Public Comment on the necessity of issuing an emergency order requiring common carriers and marine terminal operators to share key information with shippers, truckers, and railroads;
- Issued a Request for Public Comment on a proposed plan for gathering import and export information from VOCCs calling the United States;
- Initiated development of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Unreasonable Refusal to Deal or Negotiate on Vessel Space Accommodations;
- Established an interim process for submitting Charge Complaints;
- Prioritized enforcement activity through the establishment of the Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations, and Compliance;
- Placed the trade on notice that self-executing provisions of OSRA are in immediate effect;
- Placed the trade on notice that common carriers are required to immediately comply with the self-executing provisions of OSRA on detention and demurrage billing practices;
- Published the Fact Finding 29 Final Report; and
- Enhanced the resources and capabilities of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services.