US passes Ocean Shipping Reform Act

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President Joe Biden has signed into law the bipartisan bill following passage of the legislation by the House of Representatives earlier this week by a vote of 369-42.  The enactment of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act sets in motion a series of new rules and regulations regarding ocean carrier practices that the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) must implement over the course of the next year.  The Act allows FMC to launch probes of ocean common carriers’ business practices and to apply enforcement measures, requires ocean common carriers to report to the FMC “total import/export tonnage” each calendar quarter, and would bar ocean carriers from unreasonably declining opportunities for US exports under new rules to be determined by the FMC.

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