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Pacific Ports Agreement Clears FMC Review

April 15, 2015

NR 15-04

Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced today that after review it voted unanimously to allow the Pacific Ports Operational Improvements Agreement (FMC Agreement No. 201227) to become effective on April 17, 2015. The Commission’s review included evaluation of information received from the agreement parties in response to questions raised by staff and Commissioners during the review period; removal of agreement authority to address Commission concerns, including proposed authority to impose fees and charges on third parties; as well as consideration of public comments submitted on the Agreement.

The pending Agreement between the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (FMC Agreement No. 011284), the West Coast MTO Agreement (FMC No. 201143), and almost every vessel-operating carrier and marine terminal operator serving U.S. West Coast ports, would authorize the parties to discuss and exchange information, and reach agreement on measures to address and improve efficiency of operations at U.S. West Coast port facilities to reduce congestion.

"Given the exigent circumstances related to congestion, this agreement’s effectiveness is timely. Through this Agreement, the parties seek to address issues that could help to alleviate the congestion that is plaguing U.S. Pacific Coast ports. While the agreement has great potential to achieve this goal, the Commission will closely monitor the activities of the agreement to identify emerging 6(g) concerns and act quickly should it become necessary. As the primary gateways for trade between the U.S. and Asia, the ports along the U.S. Pacific Coast play an important role in ensuring the efficient flow of goods in and out of the United States. This Agreement is an example of supply chain participants cooperating and working together under the authority of the Shipping Act to improve port productivity, innovation, and efficiency." said Chairman Cordero.

The Federal Maritime Commission is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.