FMC seeks comments on new demurrage and detention rule
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has approved an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to ask the public if a new rule governing demurrage and detention billing practices would benefit the trade.
Specifically, the Commission is considering the merits of establishing regulations mandating that certain minimum information be included in bills issued for demurrage and detention charges and prescribing the maximum period in which an invoice can be sent.
Additionally, FMC is seeking industry views on whether it should regulate the demurrage and detention billing practices of non-vessel operating common carriers and marine terminal operators, in addition to vessel-operating common carriers.
The ANPRM defines the terms “demurrage and detention” to include any charges assessed by common carriers and marine terminal operators, related to the use of marine terminal space or shipping containers, according to a statement, regardless of the labels given to those charges.
The Commission is requesting comments on what specific information should be required on demurrage and detention bills and it is also interested in learning what information is necessary to identify a shipment, as well as whether bills for demurrage and detention should include information on how the charges are calculated and what circumstances justify stopping the clock on charges.
Furthermore, the FMC is soliciting guidance on how to ensure a bill is being issued to the correct party and whether an explanation of the source and reason for the charge should be required.
Comments received in response to this ANPRM will be used to inform the Commission if it should issue a proposed rule, according to a statement.