White House Endorses OSRA21 Legislation

White House Endorses OSRA21 Legislation

In an update on the state of the nation’s supply chain, the Biden administration expressed its support for the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 (OSRA21), stating that the bipartisan legislation includes “good first steps towards the type of longer-term reform to shipping laws that would strengthen America’s global competitiveness.” The administration called on Congress to provide the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) with an updated toolbox to protect exporters, importers, and consumers from unfair practices.

IWLA endorsed OSRA21 in a letter to the bill’s sponsors in October. The legislation would require ocean carriers to certify that any detention and demurrage charges comply with federal regulations or face penalties, to adhere to minimum service standards that meet the public interest and reflect best practices in the global shipping industry, and to report each calendar quarter on the total import/export tonnage and twenty-foot equivalent units (loaded/empty) per vessel that make port in the U.S. to the FMC. It would also shift the burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of detention and demurrage charges from the invoiced party to the ocean carrier and prohibit ocean carriers from unreasonably declining opportunities for U.S. exports as determined by the FMC.

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