The US Federal Maritime Commission announced that it intends to issue demand orders to ocean carriers and terminal operators regarding detention and demurrage practices.
By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent
WASHINGTON — The independent Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) met on February 17 for a scheduled meeting regarding various maritime industry and regulatory topics.
FMC announced that it would order ocean carriers and marine terminal operators to determine whether their legal obligations related to detention and demurrage port practices are being met amid a cargo boom and heavy traffic at US ports.
The request will come in the fashion of an information-sharing demand issued under FMC Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye’s authority. In this case, Dye serves as the fact-finding officer for Fact Finding 29, entitled “International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement.” This Fact Finding mission was launched in March of 2020.
The ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York, and New Jersey and ocean carriers operating out of these large terminals are subject to the FMC demand for information.
The demand order requires carriers and maritime terminal operators to provide all necessary information on their policies and practices related to container returns and exporting parties’ availability.
FMC is concerned that if carriers and terminal operators fail to follow the commission’s Interpretive Rule on Detention and Demurrage, it will violate federal law.
As the commission has previously noted for such operations, the information received from all concerning parties might be used regularly for hearings, commission enforcement actions, and regulatory rulemaking.