U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Announces Final Approval for Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) Invoice Requirements & Effective Date

May 20, 2024

Last week, the FMC spotlighted recent actions taken by the Office of the Management and Budget (OMB), clearing the way for the rule on Demurrage and Detention Billing Practices to take full effect starting May 28th.

OMB's action provided final approval of the required detention and demurrage invoice section for detention and demurrage billing under the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA).

Final D&D invoice requirements will include:

  • The invoice date and due date
  • Allowable "free time" (in days)
  • The start and end date of allowable free time
  • For charges assessed on imports, the container availability date
  • For charges assessed on exports, the earliest container/equipment return date
  • Dates for which detention and or demurrage charges were issued
  • Basis for why the billed party is the proper party of interest and liable for the charge

Leading up to this action, the FMC also clarified that if certain circumstances are met under OSRA, ocean carriers may invoice motor carriers for detention and demurrage charges. The Commissioners acknowledged earlier confusion from wording in the final OSRA rule.

As the Commission noted in their release, billing the proper party is an important part of the final rule, and parties receiving non-compliant invoices have options for recourse. In addition to seeking resolution directly with the carrier, they may also file a charge complaint through the FMC portal, or request informal assistance from the Commission’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services. Complete information, including FMC-hosted webinars on detention and demurrage invoice are available by clicking here.

For more information on either the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, charge complaints or other FMC activities, please contact Bryan Vickers (703-403-2882, bvickers@pacellp.com) with IAM's Government and Regulatory Affairs Team.