U.S. Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) introduced the ''Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021'' to the House of Representatives on Tuesday. This bipartisan legislation is the first major update of federal regulations for the global ocean shipping industry since 1998. The legislation would support American exports by establishing reciprocal trade opportunities to help reduce the U.S.'s longstanding trade imbalance with China and other countries.

On March 9, 2021, Congressmen Garamendi and Johnson joined over 100 members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to the Federal Maritime Commission urging action on unfair, anti-competitive, and likely illegal business practices by some ocean carriers. Dozens of agricultural exporters contacted the Congressmen's offices reporting that ocean carriers refused to accept cargo bookings for U.S. exports, instead choosing to send empty canisters back to the Asia-Pacific, as quickly as possible to refill with foreign exports during the pandemic.

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 would:
・ Establish reciprocal trade to promote U.S. exports as part of the FMC's mission.
・ Require ocean carriers to adhere to minimum service standards that meet the public interest, reflecting best practices in the global shipping industry.
・ Require ocean carriers or marine terminal operators to certify that any late fees -known in maritime parlance as ''detention and demurrage'' charges - comply with federal regulations or face penalties.
・ Shift burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of ''detention or demurrage'' charges from the invoiced party to the ocean carrier or marine terminal operator.
・ Prohibit ocean carriers from declining opportunities for U.S. exports unreasonably, as determined by the FMC in new required rulemaking.
・ Require ocean common carriers to report to the FMC each calendar quarter on total import / export tonnage and twenty-foot equivalent units (loaded / empty) per vessel that makes port in the U.S.
・ Authorizes the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean common carrier's business practices and apply enforcement measures, as appropriate.




  • Statistics
Copyright© 2000- Japan International Freight Forwarders Association Inc. All Rights Reserved.