WASHINGTON – In a White House ceremony on June 16, President Biden signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (S. 3580). The bipartisan and bicameral legislation was based on H.R. 4996, which passed the House in December, and will take key steps toward easing current supply chain challenges by expanding the authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to promote U.S. exports through a maritime system that is transparent, efficient and fair. 

Specifically, the act expands safeguards to combat retaliation and deter unfair business practices; clarifies prohibited carrier practices pertaining to detention and demurrage charges and vessel space accommodation; establishes a shipping exchange registry through the FMC; expands penalty authority to include refund of charges; and increases efficiency of the detention and demurrage complaint process. 

In a news release following the signing, National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) President and CEO Eric R. Byer applauded President Biden and congressional leaders for their work in getting the act passed and commented, “This bill will empower the Federal Maritime Commission to step up and hold ocean carriers accountable for high shipping rates, anticompetitive practices, and arbitrary decision-making. This is a welcomed first step and NACD calls for the swift implementation of the law. However, the Biden Administration and Congress must continue working together to end America’s supply chain crisis, including enhancing all parts of the supply chain with freight rail reforms, facilitating processes to put more truck drivers on the road, and making critical and long-term improvements to port infrastructure across the nation.” 

To read the text of the bill, click here. To learn more about NACD, visit www.nacd.com