FMC Meeting Covers Enforcement Activity, OSRA Implementation, and MTDI
The new regionally based structure for the Federal Maritime Commission investigatory program was unveiled at today’s meeting of the Commission where enforcement activity, continued progress in implementing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA), and the latest status of the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI) were all discussed.
Enforcement activity was also discussed in a closed session that included confidential information that could not be discussed publicly.
Enforcement, Investigations & Compliance
Commission enforcement activity remains robust and focused on the activities of larger service providers.
In Fiscal Year 2022, BEIC executed 191 investigations, 204 enforcement matters, 59 compliance matters, and three formal enforcement proceedings. The overwhelming majority of this activity has focused on ocean carriers and marine terminal operators. Additionally, more than $3 million in civil penalties have been collected as a result of Commission efforts since 2021.
A new regional organization for investigators was publicly unveiled at the meeting.
This new structure will better situate investigators to respond to allegations of violations by the public and to be in closer proximity to regulated entities. Investigators will be found in:
- New York/New Jersey
- Los Angeles/Long Beach
- Salt Lake City
Successfully implementing the many rulemakings mandated by OSRA remains a leading priority of the Commission.
The Commission issued a Final Rule in March amending its rules of practice and procedure regarding penalties and refunds that satisfies requirements established by OSRA Section 8. The changes make Commission regulations consistent with the authority also established by OSRA to order a refund of charges paid under a Charge Complaint proceeding.
Progress continues to be made on two already commenced rulemakings. Commission staff is working to complete both the Final Rule on Demurrage and Detention Billing Requirements and the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) on Unreasonable Refusal to Deal or Negotiate with Respect to Vessel Space.
Staff is also working on the rulemaking addressing Unfair or Unjustly Discriminatory Methods. It is anticipated that will be issued in succession to the SNPRM on Unreasonable Refusal to Deal.
Commissioner Carl Bentzel summarized the work he did leading the MTDI, his findings included in the Final Report he issued last month, and recommendations he has identified for potential next steps.
Commissioner Bentzel’s efforts included holding 18 meetings involving 80 different participants representing all industry segments responsible for moving a container from origin to destination, hosting a Data Summit in June 2022, and conducting numerous follow-up discussions in the ensuing months.