U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Continues to Implement Regulations for Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA)
Regulations include additional guidance and steps for shipping entities to take when disputing charges
As part of ongoing efforts to implement required regulations connected to the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), last month the FMC issued a rule requiring ocean carriers to refund importers and exporters for overcharges and other violations under OSRA. The recently issued final rule provides an overview of fines and penalty assessments, clarifying that carriers in violation of OSRA’s provisions may have additional civil penalties assessed.
Shippers should be aware that ocean carriers are also now required to include the following information on a range of invoicing, including those invoices where detention or demurrage charges are assessed.
Required information on invoices include the following:
- Date that container is made available
- Port of discharge
- Container number
- Earliest return date (for export containers)
- Number of allowed free-time days for holding containers
- Free time start and end dates
- Applicable detention or demurrage rule on which the daily rate is based
- Applicable rate or rates per the applicable rule, and amount due
- Contact information for questions or requests for mitigation of fees
- Statement that the charges are consistent with any of FMC rules with respect to detention and demurrage
To assist in understanding this and other OSRA provisions, in April the Commission released a video on YouTube on how to file charge complaints at the FMC. The 20-minute video goes through the details on eligible charges that may be challenged, information needing to be provided, and possible outcomes of the filed complaint.
This avenue is intended to provide an expedited process for disputing charges which may have been wrongly assessed by a common carrier to a shipping entity. Please note, as with other OSRA regulations, the Commission’s jurisdiction is limited to U.S. ports.