February 27, 2024

FMC Potpourri: Tariff Publications, Maximum Penalty Fees, Commission Updates

The Commission: The Essential Blog on the FMC
Christopher R. Nolan | Gerald A. Morrissey III | Carrol P. Hand | Allison N. Skopec
The Commission: The Essential Blog on the FMC

Tariff Publication Updates

In The Commission Blog's first post, our team addressed one of the most anticipated outcomes from the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA 2022) (Pub. Law No. 117-146, 2022 Enacted S. 3580): the Federal Maritime Commission's (FMC) new rule on Detention and Demurrage Billing Requirements (Rule).

While the Rule may be the main event to many, the other recent rules the FMC has adopted in response to OSRA 2022 should not be overlooked. As a prime example, to kick off the new year, the FMC announced its Final Rule on Carrier Automated Tariffs, published on Jan. 2, 2024. The Final Rule, which amends 46 CFR § 520.9 and took effect on Feb. 1, 2024, requires common carriers and conferences to provide public access to their tariff publication system free of charge. Any carrier or conference that violates this regulation may be assessed civil penalties.

Maximum Penalty Fees Adjusted

Speaking of civil penalties, effective Jan. 15, 2024, the FMC increased the maximum penalties assessed for statutory violations. The increase, required annually by statute and tied to the rate of inflation, means that now the maximum penalty for knowing and willful Shipping Act violations will increase to $73,045 from $70,752, and the maximum penalty for violations that are not knowing and willful will increase to $14,608 from $14,149.

A complete list of the penalty fee increases is available on the Federal Register.

Commission Updates

On Jan. 2, 2024, FMC Chair Daniel Maffei announced a key personnel change: the FMC hired the next Secretary of the Commission, Mr. David Eng. Mr. Eng is a career government attorney who joins the FMC after a stint as a branch chief at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Departmental Appeals Board (DAB).

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