FMC Meets to Discuss Ocean Carrier Enforcement Efforts & New Rule Protecting Cruise Passengers
The Federal Maritime Commission met today in open and closed session to be briefed on enforcement activities, a final rule expanding the rights of passengers to secure refunds for cancelled or delayed voyages, and the work of Area Representatives.
Personnel from the Bureau of Enforcement outlined how they are meeting direction from Chairman Daniel B. Maffei to prioritize enforcement efforts focused on ocean carrier behavior, particularly as related to U.S. export trades as well as compliance with the rule issued by the FMC in 2020 on unjust or unreasonable demurrage and detention practices.
“The Commission is ready to take on enforcement action and the cases we have brought to date illustrate that. Our Bureau of Enforcement and our Area Representatives are examining all allegations of carrier misconduct in addition to seeking out opportunities to self-initiate investigations. We will continue to prioritize all efforts that ensure strict oversight of the marketplace and ocean carrier compliance with their legal obligations,” said Chairman Maffei.
Commissioner Louis E. Sola presented his Final Report on Fact Finding 30, “COVID-19 Impact on the Cruise Industry” to the Commission. The Commission will publish a Final Rule in the Federal Register on Thursday that acts on Commissioner Sola’s recommendation to provide more rights and protections to consumers in seeking refunds when cruise voyages are delayed or cancelled. The rule will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and will apply to bookings made on and after that date.
Area Representatives covering ports in Houston and New Orleans provided a briefing in closed session on their work and conditions in each of those locations.