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Crisis in Vicinity of Fukushima, Japan: FMC Regulatory Assistance and Shipping Advisory Resources

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is monitoring the effects of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and the ongoing situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan for potential effects on shipping lines, rates, schedules, ports, and terminals that could impact United States waterborne commerce. Expedited review for agreements is available to facilitate adjustments that may be required as a result of the situation. The Commission will also give priority to other industry requests that would hasten relief efforts. Should any regulated entity desire additional relief from or clarification of Commission regulations, please contact the Commission’s Bureau of Trade Analysis.

"The FMC extends our support to our close friends, the people of Japan, as they respond to this crisis," said FMC Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. "I am committed to taking the steps we can under our jurisdiction to smooth the regulatory process and expedite shipment of cargo to and from Japan for relief and rebuilding."

The following U.S. Government, international, and Japanese Government agencies are providing information and updates that may be pertinent to the maritime community:

U.S. Government Advisories

In response to the situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, the U.S. Coast Guard and other U.S. Government Agencies recommended on March 17, 2011, as a precaution, that vessels avoid transiting within 50 miles (43 nautical miles or 80 kilometers) of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (37°N, 141°01’E). Mariners are advised that this recommendation should be considered a minimum distance. Prudent route planning should incorporate prevailing and changing wind and weather conditions, in addition to other precautionary measures. Check the links below for current information and updates:

International Agency Advisories

In response to the situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, international agencies have provided the following information:

Japanese Government Information

The links provided below are from the Japanese Government regarding the recent events at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan:


Due to the federal government shutdown, the FMC's website may not be up to date after January 22, 2018. Applications and databases will not be available and links may not function properly. No transactions or filings will be accepted until appropriations legislation is enacted and the federal government reopens.