As a measure to relieve COVID-19 impacts to the supply chain, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has voted to temporarily allow parties to file service contracts up to 30 days after they take effect. The regulatory agency published an order on Monday making the relief effective immediately and lasting through December 31, 2020.

The benefits of service contract filing relief were identified by the Fact Finding 29 Supply Chain Innovation Teams working under the direction of Commissioner Rebecca Dye.

A unifying theme in the initial meetings of the Supply Chain Innovation Teams was that service contract negotiations are being disrupted for a variety of COVID-19 related causes. In particular, many service contracts are expiring in the next 60 days and teleworking arrangements are complicating ongoing negotiations between carriers and shippers.

Additionally, some businesses are technically challenged to file service contracts from locations other than their offices. Providing flexibility in service contract filing requirements permits industry to adapt to market conditions while still providing the Commission information necessary to assure competition and integrity for America's ocean supply chain.




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