All FMC Statutes & Regulations in Full Effect Following Baltimore Bridge Collapse

April 5, 2024

(Photo: Alejandro Rivera / U.S. Coast Guard)
(Photo: Alejandro Rivera / U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on Friday issued a notice reminding regulated entities that all statutes administered by the agency remain in effect while disruption to regular service at the Port of Baltimore is causing many shippers to adjust supply chain operations.

Common carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) must continue to comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements governing their operations, the FMC said.

Demurrage and detention fees must be reasonable. FMC regulations require demurrage and detention fees meet a reasonableness test of whether the charges serve as legitimate financial incentives to encourage cargo movement.

Demurrage and detention invoicing must be lawful. The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA 2022) established new requirements for how demurrage and detention bills must be invoiced, including transparency on how the fees were calculated and contact information on how to request a waiver. Those requirements have been in effect since June 16, 2022. The Commission issued a final rule on February 26, 2024, that further interprets and implements the billing provisions of OSRA 2022. The new rule is scheduled to go into effect on May 28, 2024.

Individuals or entities with concerns about common carrier or MTO compliance can seek FMC assistance, the agency said.

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