The Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) will celebrate its first year on the 16th of this month. OSRA prohibited the unreasonable assessment of detention and demurrage fees as well as the unreasonable refusal to carry export cargo. It also provided the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) the teeth needed to enforce the law.

On the subject of enforcement, the FMC just hired John G. Crews II as Director, Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations and Compliance (BEIC). Additionally, the FMC’s rulings have surpassed $1M in refunds of detention and demurrage (D&D) charges to cargo interests and $3M in civil penalties assessed to ocean carriers.

These penalties as well as an FMC ruling against Evergreen’s weekend and holiday detention chages coupled with the agency’s final rulemaking on D&D charges due this month have prompted Maersk, Hyundai, Hapag Lloyd, MSC and ONE Line to announced they will no longer be assessing D&D charges on days when the marine terminals are closed.

Expect marine terminals to have weekend hours to avoid these “free” days.

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