Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Seeking Input on Detention and Demurrage Charges

January 12, 2021

The FMC has asked stakeholders within the shipping community to contact the Commission’s Bureau of Enforcement (BoE) with allegations and instances of ocean carrier or marine terminal operators  practices or regulations in violation of 46 USC 41102(c). Specifically, the Commission is seeking information on practices that run counter to the FMC's Final Interpretive Rule on Demurrage and Detention Under the Shipping Act, published last year. All complaints (and supporting evidence) should be emailed to BOE@FMC.Gov

The Commission's request for allegations and supporting evidence was issued on the heels of a November 2020 Supplemental Order, which was published to reinforce their expanded authority under the Shipping Act. While all instances will be reviewed by the BoE, the Commission is particularly interested in learning of instances occurring at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York & New Jersey.

As you may recall from previous IAM communications, the Final Interpretive Rule largely connected the validity of charges for both detention and demurrage to incentivize the movement of goods and cargo, not the inability to schedule an appointment for container return, congestion or similar shipper challenges.

IAM will continue to follow this issue and any other guidance or rules governing these charges, if and when issued by the Commission. If you would like more information or have questions, please contact Bryan Vickers, bvickers@pacellp.com, 703-403-2882, with IAM's Regulatory and Government Affairs team.