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The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. international ocean transportation system for the benefit of U.S. exporters, importers, and the U.S. consumer.

Our History

The FMC was officially established in 1961 in the early months of the Kennedy Administration, but its genesis can be traced back to the turmoil of World War I.

Mission Statement

The FMC’s Mission Statement is:

Ensure a competitive and reliable international ocean transportation supply system that supports the U.S. economy and protects the public from unfair and deceptive practices.

View the FMC’s Strategic Plans to learn how goals and objectives for the agency are to be achieved.

The FMC ensures competitive and efficient ocean transportation services for the shipping public by:

  • Reviewing and monitoring agreements among ocean common carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) serving the U.S. foreign oceanborne trades to ensure that they do not cause substantial increases in transportation costs or decreases in transportation services
  • Maintaining and reviewing confidentially filed service contracts to guard against detrimental effects to shipping
  • Providing a forum for exporters, importers, and other members of the shipping public to obtain relief from ocean shipping practices or disputes that impede the flow of commerce
  • Ensuring common carriers’ tariff rates and charges are published in automated tariff systems and electronically available to the public
  • Monitoring rates, charges, and rules of government-owned or controlled carriers to ensure they are just and reasonable
  • Taking action to address unfavorable conditions caused by foreign governments or business practices in U.S.-foreign shipping trades

The FMC protects the public from financial harm and contributes to the integrity and security of the U.S. supply chain and transportation system by:

  • Helping resolve disputes involving the shipment of cargo, personal or household goods, or disputes between cruise vessel operators and passengers
  • Investigating and ruling on complaints regarding rates, charges, classifications, and practices of common carriers, MTOs, and Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs), that violate the Shipping Act of 1984
  • Licensing OTIs with appropriate character and adequate financial responsibility
  • Identifying and holding regulated entities accountable for mislabeling cargo shipped to or from the United States
  • Ensuring that cruise lines maintain financial responsibility to pay claims for personal injury or death, and to reimburse passengers for failure to perform the cruise

The principal statutes administered by the Commission, now codified in Title 46 of the U.S. Code at sections 40101 through 44106, are:

The Commission

The FMC is composed of five Commissioners appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, each serving a staggered five-year term. The Commission is a bipartisan body; no more than three Commissioners may be of the same political party. One Commissioner, designated by the President, serves as Chairman. The Chairman is the Chief Executive and Administrative Officer of the Commission.

Daniel B. Maffei


Rebecca F. Dye


Carl W. Bentzel


Louis E. Sola


Max Vekich


Meeting Schedule

Organizational Structure

Here is the FMC’s organizational chart.

Bureaus and Offices

Strategies, Budgets, Plans, and Reports

Employment Opportunities

Please view all vacancies on USAJobs.

For further information about employment in the Federal sector and opportunities at other government agencies, please visit the Office of Personnel Management’s vacancy listings at www.usajobs.gov.

National Shipper Advisory Committee (NSAC)

The National Shipper Advisory Committee is a federal advisory committee. The Committee will provide information, insight, and expertise pertaining to conditions in the ocean freight delivery system to the Commission. Specifically, the Committee will advise the Commission on policies relating to the competitiveness, reliability, integrity, and fairness of the international ocean freight delivery system. Membership will be comprised of 12 representatives of entities who export cargo and 12 representatives of entities who import cargo.

The Committee will operate under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App., and 46 U.S.C. chapter 425.

Members of the public may submit written comments to NSAC at any time. Comments should be addressed to NSAC, c/o Dylan Richmond, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20573 or nsac@fmc.gov.