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FMC wants ocean carriers to comply with OSRA

The Federal Maritime Commission is requesting details from 11 ocean carriers and marine terminal operators proving that their detention and demurrage surcharges comply with the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, according to a March 23 press release.

The agency is asking the carriers to attest and show policies and practices through its Vessel-Operating Common Carrier audit program, FMC Senior Advisor for Legislative & Public Affairs John DeCrosta told Supply Chain Dive in an email.

COSCO, CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, Maersk, MSC, ONE, OOCL, Yang Ming and ZIM are the carriers in question.

According to the OSRA legislation, implementing detention and demurrage charges must be done in a way that supports the flow of cargo in a reasonable manner.

Prior to the pandemic, detention and demurrage were heavily debated. After ports began to suffer from congestion due to pandemic-related issues like labor and elevated demand, carriers collected a record number of demurrage fees that led shippers to raise concerns. The FMC is currently investigating over 100 of charge complaints where some shippers allege that ocean carriers placed unjustly fees.