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Federal Maritime Commission Issues Interpretive Final Rule on Detention & Demurrage

Agency considers AfA comments
Good afternoon,

We just received word that the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) will be issuing this Interpretive Final Rule  clarifying its interpretation of the Shipping Act prohibition against failing to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property with respect to demurrage and detention. Specifically, the Commission is providing guidance as to what it may consider in assessing whether a demurrage or detention practice is unjust or unreasonable. 

You may recall that the  Airforwarders Association had submitted its comments  last October during the rule making process. We are thankful that the FMC considered our comments and that the ruling is said to reflect these three important general principals:
  1. Importers, exporters, intermediaries, and truckers should not be penalized by demurrage and detention practices when circumstances are such that they cannot retrieve containers from, or return containers to, marine terminals because under those circumstances the charges cannot serve their incentive function.
  2. Importers should be notified when their cargo is actually available for retrieval.
  3. Demurrage and detention policies should be accessible, clear, and, to the extent possible, use consistent terminology.

In the coming days, we will be reviewing the Interpretive Final Rule and look forward to receiving your questions and feedback.


Brandon Fried
Executive Director
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