Statement by Commissioner Bentzel On Harmonizing the Uniform Intermodal Interchange & Facilities Access Agreement (UIIA) with the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) of 2022
Last week, I sent a letter to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) leadership urging harmonization of the Uniform Intermodal Interchange & Facilities Access Agreement (UIIA) contract with relevant provisions of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA). The UIIA is an incredibly important contract governing rules for the exchange of intermodal equipment between ocean carriers, railroads and the trucking industry. IANA plays a vital role in providing a cross-section forum for intermodal shipping policies and as custodian to the implementation of the UIIA.
The Federal Maritime Commission is implementing OSRA and it is vital to avoid legal conflict that the implementation of OSRA-22 should also coincide with the updating of the UIIA in order to eliminate any potential conflict on law and policy.
At a minimum, the following amendments to the UIIA should be considered:
- Amend the language in the UIIA concerning billing requirements to match the language in OSRA regarding the same subject.
- Amend the UIIA to include the language contained in the forthcoming Detention and Demurrage Rule.
- Amend the UIIA to reflect any changes to who might be liable for payment of detention and demurrage fees.
Close coordination is needed on this issue to ensure that we avoid needless litigation costs, or operational challenges that might arise from conflicting policy.
Carl W. Bentzel is a Commissioner with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. The
thoughts and comments expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent the
position of the Commission.