The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) seeks comments on a proposed interpretive rule that provides guidance regarding how the FMC determines the “reasonableness of demurrage and detention practices and regulations under the Shipping Act.” Under the rule, the FMC proposes to consult a non-exclusive list of factors when evaluating claims and complaints. The rule follows an 18-month FMC-lead initiative to address complaints filed by US trade stakeholders regarding unfair demurrage, detention, and per diem charges.
The comment period is open until October 31, 2019—an extension from the original comment period ending October 17—and the FMC is seeking firsthand information regarding shippers’ experience with demurrage and detention, as well as how disputes should be resolved.
The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America recommends shippers provide examples of specific experiences. Specific commentary could include:
• When should free time start at the port and should government holds or chassis availability impact it?
• Should there be a cap on the demurrage or detention that can be accrued? What have your experiences been with mitigating charges that resulted from government holds?
• Provide a description of demurrage and detention that were incurred on the same day.
• Have demurrage or detention charges ever been unclear?
• Is the dispute resolution path with carriers and terminals clear? Should a time frame to contest charges be provided?
• Should NVOCCs be able to take possession of the cargo without paying disputed demurrage and detention charges?
Comments may be submitted in Word or PDF formats by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and must include “Docket 19-05, Demurrage & Detention Comments” in the subject line. Alternatively, you can forward comments to Deringer’s Compliance Department which we can submit on your behalf.