Following a landmark commission decision in December last year, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has launched an active campaign to ensure shipping lines and sea terminal operators comply with the law.
The FMC has investigated when daily allowances can be charged and found that charging daily allowances when a port is closed and equipment cannot be returned is “unfair and unreasonable”.
As part of its Vessel-Operating Common Carrier Audit Program, the FMC has initiated an outreach program for the 11 largest shipping companies calling at the US to confirm they are adjusting their demurrage and detention practices in line with the recent decision. In addition, the Commission is contacting sea terminal operators to ensure full compliance with the May 2020 scheme (46 CFR 545.5), which clarifies how the Commission interprets legal prohibitions against unfair or unreasonable rules and practices in the receipt, handling, storage or delivery of property.
In the last TCW vs. Evergreen In December, the commission ordered Evergreen to “cease and refrain from charging per diems where the charging of per diems does not serve their incentive purposes, e.g. B. when empty devices cannot be returned on weekends, public holidays and port closures”. The FMC is now taking this decision seriously and is working to ensure that all stakeholders in the shipping industry are following regulations and complying with the law.
The FMC’s Vessel-Operating Common Carrier Audit Program, established in July 2021, aims to ensure that all shipping companies and terminals operate fairly and transparently. With the FMC’s increased focus on this issue, it is expected that all stakeholders in the shipping industry will take note of the regulations and work towards compliance. The FMC’s campaign is a welcome development for those who believe in the shipping industry and the fair treatment of all stakeholders.