The US FMC (Federal Maritime Commission) is verifying container lines to ensure they are adhering to anti-retaliation measures in the Ocean Shipping Reform Act 2022. A few months ago, US President, Joe Biden signed on the dotted lines for OSRA 2022, meanwhile, the supply chain has eased due to the cooling of demand in the second half of the year for the holiday season.
The new legislation provided more mechanisms than before for freight interests to complain about the practices of freight carriers. The shipping lobby was actually the driving force behind the legislation, portraying foreign container lines as villains who squeezed American companies and raised costs. The wording is unequivocal and states: “A common carrier, marine terminal operator, or ocean freight broker, acting alone or in association with any other person directly or indirectly, and shall not …. Retaliate against a shipper, shipper’s agent, ocean freight broker, or motor vessel “refuses or threatens to deny cargo space otherwise available, or … uses any other unfair or unjust discrimination.”
Within six months, the FMC, which oversees liner practices in the states, will ask the 20 largest shipping lines entering the United States for information on how they comply with the new prohibitions on retaliation OSRA 2022. FMC says in its announcement: “The Commission’s Vessel of Common Carrier (VOCC) Review Group is examining how ocean-going vessels are adapting to the increased prohibitions on retaliation and discrimination. The team focuses primarily on how companies train personnel at all levels to act legally and how those same employees are informed of the consequences of violating the law.
The FMC takes this issue very seriously, and the agency’s Chairman, Daniel B. Maffei, said, “Even a simple verbal threat to a carrier can undermine US law and will not be tolerated.” The VOCC inspectors, who previously examined demurrage and detention charges are discussing the issue directly with 11 major carriers, according to the agency. These top 11 carriers were highlighted during the discussion and debates issues that emerged during supply chain congestion in late 2021 and early 2022 and were the catalyst for OSRA 2022.