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Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 Implementation


On June 16, 2022, President Joseph R. Biden signed into law the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA), enacted as Public Law 117-146 [PDF, 219 KB]. This webpage catalogs Commission actions taken to comply with requirements established by the enacted legislation. It will be updated regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I file a Charge Complaint within a Formal Proceeding under 46 CFR § 502.61 or Small Claims (formal or informal) Proceeding under 46 CFR § 502.301-321?

No. Charge Complaints are a separate process from Formal or Small Claims complaints.

Charge complaint filers can choose to separately submit a Formal or Small Claims complaint, or provide information to the Commission’s Bureau of Enforcement, Investigation, and Compliance in support of a Commission investigation, but these distinct processes cannot be combined into a single submission.

You can also seek alternative dispute resolution services by contacting the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services.

More information on the Charge Complaint Process can be found in Guidance on Charge Complaint Interim Procedures.

If a demurrage and detention invoice/bill does not meet OSRA’s requirements, does that permanently eliminate responsibility to pay the charges on that non-conforming invoice?

No. Issuing an invoice/bill that does not comply with OSRA’s requirements does not permanently eliminate the invoice recipient’s (invoiced/billed party’s) obligation to pay those charges.

46 U.S.C. § 41104(f) cancels the obligation to pay an invoice/bill that does not conform to OSRA but does not prevent the carrier from reissuing the charges on an invoice/bill that does meet OSRA requirements. A charged party does have an obligation to pay charges billed via a compliant invoice.

Does OSRA have a phase-in period? Can the public wait for further Commission guidance or rulemakings before complying?

No. OSRA included no phase-in periods, with a few limited exceptions. OSRA requirements became effective when enacted on June 16, 2022. The Commission addressed this question in Industry Advisories posted here on June 24, 2022 and July 22, 2022 (See Industry Advisories Section above).

The Commission is engaged in several rulemakings necessary to implement OSRA. Pending or future rulemakings do not defer the obligation to comply with OSRA requirements that are already in effect.

Is the Commission planning to issue rulemakings regarding OSRA? Where can I look for guidance?

Rulemakings are underway to implement OSRA. Detailed instructions on how to submit comments, including instructions on how to request confidential treatment, who to contact for further information, and any additional information on the rulemaking process is described in the respective rulemaking documents when they are issued.

The Commission has transitioned to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at regulations.gov to provide a central location for public notice and opportunity for comment on its rulemaking proceedings.

Information on current rulemaking projects is posted on this page or can be viewed on the Commission’s reginfo.gov page.

Do invoices/bills issued to non-U.S. entities need to comply with OSRA’s invoice/billing requirements? What if they are issued by a non-U.S. entity?

Yes. The requirements are applicable to common carriers as defined at 46 U.S.C. § 40102(7). The Commission does not determine if a common carrier meets that definition based on if its customers are based in the U.S. Instead, the Commission makes its determination based on whether a common carrier holds itself out to provide transportation between the U.S. and a foreign country and uses, for all or part of the transportation, a vessel operating between a U.S. port and a foreign port.

If an entity is acting as a common carrier as defined under the Shipping Act, then the common carrier’s invoices/bills for charges to both U.S. and non-U.S. entities are subject to the law. The common carrier must also comply with the invoice/billing requirements of 46 U.S.C. § 41104(d) for demurrage and detention charges. This holds true regardless of whether the invoices/bills are issued in the United States or abroad, whether they are issued to a U.S. entity or a foreign entity, and whether they are issued by a U.S. common carrier or non-U.S. common carrier.

Where can I learn more about the rulemaking process?

An abbreviated explanation of the rulemaking process can be found on Regulations.gov.  A more expansive reference, that includes Frequently Asked Questions and a “Reg Map” document detailing each step of the rulemaking process, is available on Reginfo.gov.