Maritime Commission Urges Ocean Carriers to Adopt Detention, Demurrage Best Practices

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) recently sent a letter to all major ocean carriers calling on them to adopt three best practices related to detention and demurrage.

The best practices are intended to promote clarity and certainty about how and when fees will be assessed and how charges can be disputed.

Based on information collected from the top nine ocean carriers last year, FMC urged carriers to adopt the following industry standards:

— Display charges clearly and prominently on their websites or customer portals;

— Develop and document clear internal processes on all matters regarding detention and demurrage;

— Clearly define (on websites and invoices) dispute resolution procedures, contacts, and necessary documents.

If adopted, these new best practices would serve as an initial step toward aligning carrier documents and policies with the goals of the FMC’s Interpretive Rule on Demurrage and Detention Under the Shipping Act, enacted in May 2020.

This article comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Oct. 21, 2021, Grain Transportation Report.

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