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Industry Advisory—All FMC Statutes & Regulations Remain in Full Effect Following Bridge Collapse

Disruption to regular service at the Port of Baltimore is causing many shippers to adjust supply chain operations.

Regulated entities are reminded that all statutes administered by the Federal Maritime Commission remain in effect. Common carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) must continue to comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements governing their operations.

Demurrage and detention fees must be reasonable. FMC regulations require demurrage and detention fees meet a reasonableness test of whether the charges serve as legitimate financial incentives to encourage cargo movement.

Demurrage and detention invoicing must be lawful. The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA 2022) established new requirements for how demurrage and detention bills must be invoiced, including transparency on how the fees were calculated and contact information on how to request a waiver. Those requirements have been in effect since June 16, 2022. The Commission issued a final rule on February 26, 2024, that further interprets and implements the billing provisions of OSRA 2022. The new rule is scheduled to go into effect on May 28, 2024.

Individuals or entities with concerns about common carrier or MTO compliance can seek FMC assistance.

  • File a complaint proceeding  for adjudication before the FMC’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.
  • Submit a Charge Complaint requesting refund of waiver of an erroneous or unlawful charge assessed by a common carrier for rapid review by the Commission.
  • Request informal assistance to resolve a dispute. The Commission’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS) will facilitate communications and seek to quickly resolve disputes between a shipper and a common carrier or MTO. Unlike an order issued in a legal proceeding, resolutions reached through CADRS are voluntary.
  • Report allegations of violations with the Commission’s Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations, and Compliance. Based on the information received, a formal investigation may be launched.
  • Provide concerns and information for the benefit of the Commission’s knowledge at complaints@fmc.gov.

Additional information about options for raising and addressing disputes can be found in this instructional video.