Statement of Commissioners Max M. Vekich and Carl W. Bentzel regarding the NPRM on the Definition of Unreasonable Refusal to Deal with Respect to Vessel Space Accommodation
This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking provides an important first step in elaborating on how the Federal Maritime Commission will assess what constitutes an unreasonable refusal to deal or negotiate with respect to vessel space accommodation. While the proposed rule establishes parameters for consideration, there may be additional steps that would benefit U.S. exporters.
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 affirmed longstanding principles of common carriage dating back to the Shipping Act of 1916. It also makes clear that the purpose of the Federal Maritime Commission is to establish a non-discriminatory process that also serves to promote the growth and development of U.S. exports. We look forward to receiving comments addressing how the Commission can best facilitate allocation of vessel space for U.S. exports, including whether ocean common carriers should be required to have a documented export strategy.
American exporters need our full support and commitment to promote an ocean transportation system that supports the growth of U.S. exports and the development of U.S. jobs. We must do all that we can to fulfill this mission.
Max M. Vekich and Carl W. Bentzel are Commissioners of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. The thoughts and comments expressed herein are their own and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission.