03 November 2023


The Financial Times reported last week that the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) imposed penalties and reached settlements totalling almost $3 million over the last 12 months, up from barely $100 three years earlier.

FMC powers have increased thanks to the reform of the Ocean Shipping Act in 2022, with more oversight on excessive charges and contract breaches, resulting in an increase of number of cases solved and increased penalties: The FMC has resolved 36 cases over the last 12 months, tripling the number of two years earlier. The FMC has since opened a fast-track route for businesses to report illegal charges by email. In the 14 months since July last year, companies have submitted 394 such complaints, the regulator said.

The ongoing implementation process of OSRA may also trigger new cases being opened and potentially more fines handed to shipping operators: the FMC reported at the end of September that the Final Rule on D&D billing practices was close to being completed and adopted by the FMC. Work is also ongoing on the Final Rule Unreasonable Refusal to Deal, following the second request for comments published in June 2023.

Source: Financial Times, FMC