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Commission Issues Proposed Rule on Service Contract Filing Relief

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The Federal Maritime Commission today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that, if adopted, will permit ocean carriers to file original service contracts at the agency up to 30 days after going into effect.

Members of the public have until March 4, 2021 to file comments in response to this NPRM.  The Commission will consider all public comments before voting on final regulatory actions.

Current FMC regulations require the filing of initial service contracts with the FMC before an ocean carrier is permitted to receive and move cargo under the terms of that contract. Amendments to previously filed service contracts may be filed up to thirty days following the commercial effective date of the amendment. Following an April 2020 Commission vote that addressed COVID related impacts to the supply chain, the Commission granted temporary regulatory relief that allowed ocean carriers to file initial service contracts up to 30 days after contract terms had been agreed to.