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Commission Meets to Discuss Regulatory Reform Initiative & Ocean Carrier Alliances

May 26, 2017

NR 17-11

Contact: John K. DeCrosta (202) 523-5911

During its May 24 meeting, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) received updates on the next steps in its regulatory reform initiative, progress made toward establishing a new five-year strategic plan, and developments related to the new ocean carrier alliance structure.

A key initiative for the Commission is its regulatory reform initiative, which was launched earlier this year. Karen Gregory, who serves as the Commission’s Managing Director and has been designated as the agency’s Regulatory Reform Officer, reported that efforts to identify and address outdated, burdensome, or ineffective regulations continue on good pace.

A Notice of Inquiry https://www.fmc.gov/17-04/ is now available on the Commission’s website and will soon be published in the Federal Register soliciting the public’s assistance in identifying existing FMC regulations that should be repealed, replaced, or modified. Interested parties may provide comment in response to the Notice of Inquiry on or before July 5, 2017. Responses will be reviewed to help the Commission determine its next steps.

Ms. Gregory also provided an update on the development of the Commission’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. The public will have a chance to comment on the FMC’s draft plan in the summer of this year. A final plan is due in February of 2018.

"I am very pleased with the progress Ms. Gregory is making toward the Commission’s goal of easing regulatory compliance costs and requirements for industry stakeholders. We look forward to hearing from any and all parties who want their views to be known. If there are Commission regulations that are burdensome, ineffective, unreasonably costly, or antiquated, every effort should be made to modify or repeal them so that shippers and consumers benefit from expanded services, increased choices, and lower costs," said Acting Chairman Khouri.

Also during the meeting, staff from the Commission’s Bureau of Trade Analysis presented an overview of the new carrier alliance structure, specifically examining impacts on capacity and services as container lines have gone from operating in four different alliances to three. Commissioners were updated during the closed session about how these alliances will be monitored to assure the marketplace for ocean transportation services remains open and competitive.

Finally, the Commission heard reports from Acting Chairman Khouri about his participation in the Third Global Maritime Regulatory Summit held in Beijing in April, and from Commissioner Daniel Maffei regarding the Global Liner Shipping Conference he addressed this May in Hamburg, Germany.