With detention and demurrage charges doubling in 2021 at the nation’s busiest port complex of Los Angeles/Long Beach, it is no wonder there has been a slew of activity on Capitol Hill relating to supply chain issues and detention and demurrage.
On July 9th, the Biden Administration issued an executive order to “crack down on unjust and unreasonable fees” as well as to review “a pattern of consolidation and aggressive pricing that has made it onerously expensive for American companies to transport goods to market.”
Federal Maritime Commission
On Jul 11th, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which establishes a framework for the two agencies to collaborate on anti-trust, oversight and enforcement.
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On July 28th, the FMC recommended Congress broaden the anti-retaliation provisions of the Shipping Act as well as authorize the doubling of reparations related to detention and demurrage.
Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 (US Representative John Garamendi, D- CA) would make it more difficult for ocean carriers to refuse export cargo, collect detention or demurrage charges and deny access to containers and service. The legislation would also give the FMC more regulatory and enforcement powers.
Commerce Committee Chairwoman, US Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), is promoting the US Innovation and Competitiveness Act, which she says “aims to contribute to the resiliency of the supply chain.”