The Federal Maritime Commission has had a busy year. 

Between various investigations and attending summits, the FMC has been preoccupied with tasks such as supporting legislations and protecting shippers from unfair treatment. 

On September 15th, 2021, the FMC announced that they would be implementing two demurrage and detention initiatives. 

The First Initiative 

The first initiative is related to a “policy statement” concerning FMC private complaints. Its main purpose is to give clear guidelines on what companies should do in regards to demurrage and detention fees in the current shipping crisis. The 3 main parts include: 

1. Guidance on the Shipping Act’s anti-retaliation prohibition “for any other reason.”
2. Unsuccessful complainants will not automatically lead to paying for opposing attorney fees.
3. Shippers and trade associations may have standing to bring forth private party complaints.

The Second Initiative 

The second initiative is a rulemaking process on specific demurrage and detention fees. The form hasn’t been published yet, but the FMC will require any issues to be brought forth in the form of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). It will include: 

1. Public comments on whether the FMC should require carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) to supply minimum information on or with demurrage and detention fee invoices.
2. Whether the Commission should require carriers and MTOs “to adhere to certain practices regarding the timing of demurrage and detention billings.”