Exclusive: AgTC Submits Proposals to Address the Maritime Crisis

A few days before an important hearing at the Coast Guard and Maritime Transport Subcommittee on the crisis facing U.S. importers, the Agricultural Transport Union (AgTC) enforced trade transport and excessive penalties. Submitted three legislative proposals. Carriers, American shippers have learned.

The proposal was sent to representatives of the Federal Maritime Commission and the Senate and House committees responsible for maritime transport.

American Shipper has considered a bill that includes the following amendments:

— Amendments to obtain FMC detention and demurrage rule enforcement.
— Amendments to prioritize FMC’s services to US exporters, importers and others.
— Amendments to maintain the carriage of US exports.

“For everyone exporting from the United States, it’s painfully clear that the current maritime transport regulation mechanism and the Federal Maritime Commission’s ability to ensure compliance with its rules are not working,” said AgTC Executive Director. Said Peter Friedman.

A communication to AgTC members pointed out that US agricultural exporters reported an average loss of 22% in sales.

“The flood of imports is not the fault of shipping companies, but the stress on the entire supply chain is a natural consequence,” Friedman told American Shipper. “But it is no longer acceptable to benefit from imposing delinquency and detention charges that the FMC has already declared unreasonable.”

The FMC expanded Fact Finding 29’s investigation into excess charges imposed on US importers last November and trade denials. Recently, the Commission has announced that it is helping importers collect unjustified delinquency and detention charges.

This amendment extends the charges for excess charges and requires carriers or terminals to simply ensure compliance with FMC rules when imposing detention or late fees.

“FMC needs the authority to enforce very good rules,” explains Friedman. “In relation to shipping, it needs to be a resource for US exporters and importers. This law will further emphasize this feature and the resources devoted to it.”

The second amendment sets specific amounts to add staff and resources to the FMC Consumer Issues and Dispute Resolution Services office.

In the fight to increase US exports, the final amendment will be added to the existing legislation on the prohibition of the 1998 Maritime Transport Reform Act. The addition states: Or indirectly, if there is a possibility of unreasonably refusing to reserve an export cargo, if the cargo can be safely and timely loaded and transported to the vessel scheduled for the destination of the cargo, a breach of this clause. Is subject to the penalties stipulated in Article 13 (b) (1) of the Act. “

FMC Chairman Daniel Maffei told American Shipper that he was grateful to AgTC for reviewing the proposed amendments and initiating discussions.

“We are in the early stages of the legislative process, and it is up to Congress and committee staff to resolve this,” Maffei said. “I share most of my export goals, but I need to find a way to do this. It’s a good discussion document, but if enacted as it is, it can have unintended consequences.”

Maffei explained that FMC is already increasing its staffing and data investment.

“We are a federal agency and the money needs to go to certain parts of the FMC,” he said. “If you need to spend a certain amount of money on a particular part of the Commission, you can lose an important area of ​​the FMC. It can significantly weaken your enforcement and oversight efforts.

“In the long run, we may need more enforcement and resources, but we need to invest financial investment in people and data to increase the burden on taxpayers. We FMC So, while this discussion is expanding, we’ll do what we can do without legislation. The details need to be accurate. We’re not there yet. This proposal is just the beginning. “ Exclusive: AgTC Submits Proposals to Address the Maritime Crisis

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