US extends by 2 weeks industry's comment on demurrage and detention practices
THE US Federal Maritime Commission has extended the deadline until October 31 for the container shipping industry to hand in public comments on a proposed interpretive rule related to demurrage and detention practices under the Shipping Act
THE US Federal Maritime Commission has extended the deadline until October 31 for the container shipping industry to hand in public comments on a proposed interpretive rule related to demurrage and detention practices under the Shipping Act.
The move comes in response to a request by Washington, DC-based Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) for a two-week extension for exporters and importers to submit comments to the FMC regarding the proposed interpretive rule.
'We are encouraged that the commission recognises the importance and impact of these proceedings, which they need to effectively address,' said AgTC executive director Peter Friedmann in an interview with American Shipper. 'It'' a major burden on US exporters and importers.'
On September 13, the FMC published on its website the notice of proposed interpretive rulemaking to address future demurrage and detention disputes brought before the commission by the industry.
'While the commission will provide confidential treatment for identified confidential information to the extent allowed by law, comments are considered to be part of the public record,' the FMC said.
Demurrage refers to the time an import container sits in a container terminal, with carriers responsible for collecting penalties on behalf of the marine terminals. Detention relates to shippers holding containers for too long outside the marine terminals.
Many shippers regard the US$150 to $300 demurrage and detention fees assessed upon them by shipping lines and marine terminals as unfair, especially when they are unable to pick up or drop off containers on account of operational problems at the terminals which are beyond their control.
The AgTC highlighted a September 18 customer advisory from CMA CGM (America) stating the carrier will assess 'an administrative fee of $50 for each per diem/daily usage charge invoice.' AgTC members immediately contacted CGM CMA (America) in protest, Mr Friedmann said. The fee was withdrawn by the carrier the following day.