The exemption was granted on July 19, after Maersk filed the request on June 30 due to the shipping line's IT and communications infrastructure being seriously impacted and then shut down as a security measure in the wake of the Petya cybersecurity attack on June 27, reported American Shipper.
In its request, Maersk asked the FMC for a 20-day respite from service contract filing rules because the Petya virus severely impaired the company's information systems to the extent that it hasn't been able to determine which service contracts and/or service contract rates are scheduled to expire in late June or in early July.
The temporary reprieve means Maersk won't require customers to pay higher tariff rates to shipments tendered during the 20-day period, but Maersk is allowed to apply service contract rates to such shipments that were agreed upon and filed after the date of cargo receipt without violating the Shipping Act.
"Because the requested exemption will not result in substantial reduction in competition or be detrimental to commerce, we grant Maersk's petition," the FMC commissioners wrote in their decision. "The commission believes that the process requested by Maersk will adequately protect affected shippers and their rights."
Under the commission's July 19 order, Maersk is required to file any service contract amendments with the FMC as soon as practical, but no more than 30 days after execution.
Earlier this month, Maersk said it will waive demurrage and detention fees accrued by customers during the period when a system outage caused by the Petya cyberattack impacted its ability to release cargo.
It's been nearly four weeks since the cyberattack all but crippled the company's IT systems, as well as those of fellow A P Moller-Maersk subsidiary APM Terminals and several other shipping industry firms, but Maersk has been slowly restoring all operational aspects of its business and returning customer services levels back to normal.
Maersk was cited as saying that its "operations and communications have been significantly affected by this virus attack,," but there has been "no data breach or data loss to third-parties is known to have occurred as of this date."