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FMC Approves Issuance of First Proposed Rule Implementing OSRA

November 24, 1998

FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION

FMC APPROVES ISSUANCE OF FIRST

PROPOSED RULES IMPLEMENTING OSCA

NR 98-09

Washington, D.C. 20573


CONTACT: JOSEPH C. POLKING, SECRETARY at (202) 523-5725.

FOR RELEASE: November 24, 1998

The Commission today considered and approved the publication of the first two of several proposed rulemakings to be undertaken implementing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 ("OSRA"). As part of its consideration the Commission determined to inform the public of its intended general reorganization of parts 500-588 of Title 46 CFR. As realigned, the Commission's rules will be contained in three Subchapters. Subchapter A will continue to set forth general and administrative provisions. Subchapter B will contain all of the Commission's basic regulations concerning operations in the U.S. foreign commerce. Subchapter C will be set aside to cover matters involving the restrictive maritime practices of foreign governments and controlled carriers. Subchapter D will be removed. An outline of the proposed realignment is attached.

The two proposals adopted today are:

(1) Miscellaneous Amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure which makes changes to the rules of practice necessitated by OSRA, such as special docket procedures, and petitions for exemptions; makes a number of routine administrative changes, such as deleting references to the Shipping Act, 1916 and the Intercoastal Shipping Act of 1933; and makes certain other revisions designed to clarify, improve and modernize the rules.

(2) Amendments to Regulations Governing Restrictive Foreign Shipping Practices, and New Regulations Governing Controlled Carriers which updates and clarifies rules implementing section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920, section 13(b)(5) of the Shipping Act of 1984, and the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988 to reflect changes made by OSRA, and also implements changes made by OSRA to section 9 of the 1984 Act affecting controlled carriers. This proposal also would gather previously scattered regulations affecting controlled carriers into a more readily accessible codification.

The Commission also announced that it would be considering additional rules implementing OSRA at open meetings on December 2 and December 9, 1998, each at 10:00 a.m. The tentative agendas for these meetings would include rules dealing with Agreements, Marine Terminal Operator Schedules, and Ocean Transportation Intermediaries on December 2 and rules dealing with Private Tariff Systems and Service Contracts on December 9.

The Commission indicated that it intends to provide a 30-day comment period for each of the proposed rulemakings, and because of the statutory mandate to have all final rules issued by March 1, 1999, would not be in a position to approve requests for extension of time. All final rules would, pursuant to the statute, become effective on May 1, 1999.


PROPOSED NEW CFR FORMAT

CHAPTER IV - FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION

SUBCHAPTER A - GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Part

501 The Federal Maritime Commission - General

502 Rules of practice and procedure

503 Public information

504 Procedures for environmental policy analysis

505 Administrative offset

506 Civil monetary penalty inflation adjustment

507 Enforcement of nondiscrimination on the basis of handicap in programs or activities conducted by the Federal Maritime Commission

508 Employee ethical conduct standards and financial disclosure regulations



SUBCHAPTER B - REGULATIONS AFFECTING OCEAN SHIPPING IN FOREIGN COMMERCE

515 Licensing and surety requirements for ocean transportation intermediaries

520 Carrier automated tariffs

525 Marine terminal operator schedules

530 Service contracts

535 Agreements by ocean common carriers and other persons subject to the Shipping Act of 1984

540 Financial responsibility of passenger vessel operators

545 Interpretations and statements of policy



SUBCHAPTER C - REGULATIONS AND ACTIONS TO ADDRESS RESTRICTIVE FOREIGN MARITIME PRACTICES

550 Regulations to adjust or meet conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States

551 Actions to adjust or meet conditions unfavorable to shipping in the U.S. foreign trade

555 Actions to address adverse conditions affecting U.S.-flag carriers that do not exist for foreign carriers in the United States

560 Actions to address conditions unduly impairing access of U.S.-flag vessels to ocean trade between foreign ports

565 Controlled carriers