House to Vote on OSRA21

House to Vote on OSRA21

The House will take up the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 (OSRA21) this week. If enacted, the legislation would represent the first major update to international ocean shipping regulations since 1998.

OSRA21 would strengthen the enforcement powers of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and crack down on unfair practices used by ocean carriers. Under the bill, ocean carriers would have to certify that any detention and demurrage charges comply with federal regulations or face penalties, adhere to minimum service standards that meet the public interest and reflect best practices in the global shipping industry, and report each calendar quarter on the total import/export tonnage and twenty-foot equivalent units (loaded/empty) per vessel that make port in the U.S. to the FMC. It would also shift the burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of detention and demurrage charges from the invoiced party to the ocean carrier and prohibit ocean carriers from unreasonably declining opportunities for U.S. exports as determined by the FMC.

IWLA endorsed OSRA21 in a letter to the bill’s sponsors in October. The White House endorsed the legislation last month. OSRA21 now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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