Contact: John K. DeCrosta, (202) 523-5911
The West Coast Marine Terminal Operators submitted an amendment to their WCMTOA agreement (FMC Agreement No. 201143) at the Federal Maritime Commission on April 13, 2018. The amendment proposes changes to the structure of the current Off-peak program and traffic mitigation fee employed by WCMTOA at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The parties now propose to use truck appointment systems to mitigate and control truck traffic congestion. Notice of the filing was published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2018, and twelve comments were received.
Under Section 6(g) of the Shipping Act of 1984, 46 U.S.C. § 41307(b), an agreement or amendment will become effective 45 days after filing unless “the Commission determines that the agreement is likely, by a reduction in competition, to produce an unreasonable reduction in transportation service or an unreasonable increase in transportation cost.” The Commission must then bring a civil action in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia to enjoin the operation of the agreement or amendment.
If the Commission concludes it does not have sufficient information to make the required determination, it may require additional information of the filing parties through a Request for Additional Information (RFAI). In this event, the agreement or amendment will become effective on the 45th day after the Commission receives the additional information or documents requested.
The Commission issued a Request for Additional Information in this matter on May 24, 2018. The WCMTOA parties completed their response to the RFAI on October 5, 2018 and a new 45-day review period has commenced. The Commission is now evaluating the information provided by the WCMTOA parties. Under section 40306, all information and documents filed pursuant to an agreement or amendment, other than the agreement or amendment itself, may not be made public.
The Commission also reviews agreements and amendments for noncompliance with Shipping Act provisions, such as Section 10 “Prohibited Acts.” If the Commission determines that the operation or effect of a filed agreement or amendment would conflict with such provision(s) of the Shipping Act, then it may seek an injunction in federal court to enjoin that conduct.