Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2022) – In the past two weeks, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced initiatives to help with supply chains and the President signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA), to update U.S. ocean shipping policies; the first major overhaul of U.S. shipping laws in 24 years. While neither action will resolve the supply chain/shipping issues faced by importers quickly or completely, combined, they will help protect against supply chain disruptions in the future and provide greater transparency on shipper pricing and policies.
The Federal Maritime Commission adopted a trio of initiatives the Commission will pursue to facilitate the movement of commerce:
- Require carriers, terminal operators, and seaports to employ FMC compliance officer who reports to top U.S.-based executives on compliance with FMC rules
- Create Ocean Shipping Supply Chain Program to examine issues confronting U.S. supply chains and offer potential solutions
- Re-activate the ‘Export Rapid Response Team’ integrating Ocean Carrier CEOs into the conversations to assist in the fast resolution of emergency commercial disputes between ocean shippers and exporters
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act gives the FMC additional resources to execute its mission through:
- Full funding of FMC through 2025
- Additional ocean carrier requirements and prohibited conduct
- New FMC rules on fee assessments & prohibited practices
- Creation of a shipping registry
- Gives FMC authority to issue an emergency order requiring common carriers to disclose information directly with ocean shippers, rail & motor carriers.
The FMC is confident the new authority, additional compliance enforcement, and greater transparency will help facilitate the free flow of commerce in the future. While this will help supply chains once products are on the water, the issues surrounding COVID in China continue to disrupt commerce and the U.S. has little recourse for supply chains in China during COVID lockdowns.
For more information, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].