FMC questions definition of “merchant” in carrier bill of lading

My Opinion

This definition of the term “Merchant” has caught the attention of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) who is soliciting public comment as to

  1. How VOCCs apply the term “Merchant” in their bills of lading;
  2. Whether the definition, as applied, subjects third parties who are not in contractual privity with the carrier to joint or several liability; and
  3. Whether carriers have enforced the definition of merchant against third parties that have not consented to be bound by, or otherwise accept, the terms and conditions of the bill of lading.

I have shared my personal opinion on this.. Have a read and share yours..

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FMC’s Demurrage and Detention Charges investigation completed

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As you maybe aware, the Federal Maritime Commission initiated investigation, Fact Finding 28, in March 2018 to look into the question whether demurrage and detention charges in the shipping industry were justified..

Industry stakeholders raised a petition to address the question whether demurrage and detention fees charged to shippers for storing containers and using equipment beyond the carrier’s or terminal’s allowed “free time” were just and reasonable..

This question arose on the back of demurrage and detention charges levied by the port, terminal and shipping lines to the shippers especially in the key USA gateways of Los-Angeles/Long Beach on the West Coast and New York-New Jersey on the East Coast..

Here are the results of the investigation and its findings..

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