ARLINGTON, VA – National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) President and CEO Eric R. Byer issued a statement welcoming the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (S.3580) by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

In his statement, Byer said, “Throughout the pandemic, while product shortages persist throughout the entire supply chain, ocean shipping companies have reaped record profits on the backs of small business and chemical distributors. Unfair ocean shipping practices have pushed many NACD members to financial distress while they work to import products necessary for the health and wellness of our country. It remains very clear that we need reform now.

“The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 will go far in strengthening the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) current enforcement abilities, expanding its authority to ensure industry-wide compliance with federal law, and establishing a streamlined process for addressing demurrage and detention complaints.”

Byer went on to explain that the legislation included a provision giving the General Accounting Office tools to investigate whether ocean carriers systematically refused the transport of hazardous materials. 

He said, “Since the start of the pandemic, chemical distributors have regularly been denied vessel space and the equipment needed to transport hazardous materials overseas. Despite paying premium rates for contracts, chemical distributor companies have found that their agreements are often not honored by ocean carriers, even though they are bound by common carrier laws to transport all cargo the same.

“Many of these ingredients, including hydrogen fluoride, sulfamic acid, phosphates, and caustic soda, are critical to the lives of all Americans and must be shipped from overseas. Ensuring timely import of these ingredients is a national security imperative.”

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