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BIFA calls on world governments to end unreasonable demurrage

THE British International Freight Association (BIFA) says forwarders and the shippers are reeling from unjust demurrage fees linked to congestion in ports around the world

23 November 2020 - 19:00

THE British International Freight Association (BIFA) says forwarders and the shippers are reeling from unjust demurrage fees linked to congestion in ports around the world.

'They should not be penalised by demurrage and detention practices when they cannot retrieve containers from, or return containers to marine terminals,' said BIFA director general Robert Keen



The US Federal Maritime Commission's (FMC) pronuncement came after six years of investigation with all participants in the supply chain, which concluded that there had most likely been a long history of unjust and unfair demurrage and detention practices.



While there are country and port differences, the FMC findings apply globally as demurrage and detention is common and widespread.



Said Mr Keen: 'If the FMC has identified demurrage and detention practices that are likely to be considered as unjust for the USA, these practices are also unjust and unreasonable for the rest of the world.



'It is wrong for container shipping lines not to respect the interpretative rule introduced by the FMC in May that sought to govern conflicts on the issue of demurrage and detention fees,' he said.



Mr Keen said the FMC rule is intended to stop unreasonable and unjust practices to which shippers and freight forwarders alike have been exposed for years.


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