Commissioner Maffei votes in favor of amendments to rules governing NRAs and NSAs
The changes taking effect from this rulemaking are a response to requests by the stakeholders and will address the current trends in the maritime industry. The industry continues to evolve more rapidly with each passing day, and to the extent the Commission can under an outdated Shipping Act, I want to make sure the Commission’s regulations respond to those changes. The Commissioners have chosen on a bipartisan basis to encourage innovation rather than risk deterring progress. I am confident industry participants are capable and often better at determining what business arrangements best suit their needs. These changes are meant to provide flexibility and encourage parties to negotiate their own terms in one document that will encapsulate their shipping requirements rather than forcing parties to refer to outside publications for a full understanding of the terms agreed upon. If in the future this flexibility is abused or causes unforeseen consequences/deterrents, Section 16 of the Shipping Act allows the Commission to revisit this matter. I would encourage continued feedback and comments from the industry, while the Bureau of Trade Analysis continues to monitor the effects and research possible impacts to the industry. I for one have full confidence in the dedicated expert staff of the Commission to carry out this duty to the shipping public and American citizens.