Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted for the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. This bipartisan legislation will help strengthen our supply chains, lower costs for Americans, and support farmers and businesses across the nation.
“While ocean carriers have reported record profits, rising shipping costs and bottlenecks at our ports are creating challenges for American businesses and farmers,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “We need to make sure our exporters can get goods to the global market for a fair price. This bipartisan bill will help level the playing field for American exporters and consumers and I look forward to seeing the President sign it into law.”
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act will level the playing field for American exporters by making it more difficult for ocean carriers to unreasonably refuse goods ready to export at ports. Specifically, this legislation will:
- Require ocean carriers to certify that late fees —known in maritime parlance as “detention and demurrage” charges—comply with federal regulations or face penalties;
- Shift burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of “detention or demurrage” charges from the invoiced party to the ocean carrier;
- Prohibit ocean carriers from unreasonably declining shipping opportunities for U.S. exports, as determined by the FMC in new required rulemaking;
- Require ocean common carriers to report to the FMC each calendar quarter on total import/export tonnage and 20-foot equivalent units (loaded/empty) per vessel that makes port in the United States;
- Authorize the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean common carrier’s business practices and apply enforcement measures, as appropriate.