Commissioner Rebecca Dye Credit MPA
Credit MPA

At a closed session of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) yesterday, commissioner Rebecca Dye presented eight interim recommendations to alleviate the massive backlog that has hit US supply chains since last year.

They include amending legislation to broaden anti-retaliation provisions and authorising the commission to order double reparations for regulatory violations.

The FMC is also looking to clarify the language on its website to make its position clearer, particularly where small claims are involved, and to hold a webinar to explain changes.

On detention and demurrage (D&D) charges, the FMC is looking for industry opinions regarding minimum information on billing for these charges. In addition, an amendment to the regulation on D&D charges could allow the FMC to order a refund on top of civil penalties in enforcement cases.

In addition, the commission is considering appointing an export expert to monitor the flow of exports from the US.

The FMC said: “The recommendations are aimed at minimising barriers to private party enforcement of the Shipping Act, clarifying commission and industry processes, encouraging shippers, truckers, and other stakeholders to assist commission enforcement efforts, and bolstering the ability of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services to facilitate fair and fast dispute resolution.”

Ms Dye will also meet with supply chain innovation teams in Memphis and the port of Los Angeles “to address supply chain disruptions and increase supply chain visibility”.

Meanwhile, commissioner Carl Bentzel summarised his findings, concerning container and chassis manufacturing in the US and the availability of this equipment.

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