President Biden this afternoon signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA 22) into law. The House of Representatives on June 13 passed the Senate version (S.3580) of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA 22) by a vote of 369-42.
This is the first significant change to OSRA in 20 years.
In a nutshell, this bill revises requirements governing ocean shipping to increase the authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to promote the growth and development of U.S. exports through an ocean transportation system that is competitive, efficient, and economical. For example, the bill requires the FMC to (1) investigate complaints about detention and demurrage charges (late fees) charged by common ocean carriers, (2) determine whether those charges are reasonable, and (3) order refunds for unreasonable charges.
The legislation also prohibits common ocean carriers, marine terminal operators, or ocean transportation intermediaries from unreasonably refusing cargo space when available or resorting to other unfair or unjustly discriminatory methods.
Industry groups like the NCBFAA worked diligently to amend the original draft language that would have unfairly included NVOCCs in obligations that are clearly only applicable to VOCCs.
Source: National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA)