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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What the Final Interpretive Rule by the FMC on demurrage and detention says

causes of demurrage and detention

The issue of what the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) may consider in assessing whether a demurrage or detention practice is unjust or unreasonable has seemingly been put to rest with FMC having the final word..

On the 28th of April 2020, the FMC issued its final rule on its interpretation of the Shipping Act prohibition against failing to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property with respect to demurrage and detention..

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Path for Tradelens Agreement seems clear

logistics technology - shipping and freight resource

The TradeLens Agreement which “authorizes the parties to cooperate with respect to the provision of data to a blockchain-enabled, global trade digitized solution that will enable shippers, authorities and other stakeholders to exchange information on supply chain events and documents” is seemingly cleared to go live as it goes unchallenged within the timeframe given by FMC..

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FMC calls for public comment on demurrage and detention

shipping and freight news

Demurrage and Detention has been a bone of contention between shipping lines and customers for several years..

Shipping lines have been charging demurrage and detention costs on containers that the customers do not pick up or turn in on time, a situation that prevents shipping lines from utilising their equipment effectively..

Customers (importers mainly) on the other hand have been complaining about shipping lines using unfair practices when charging demurrage and detention even if the fault is not on their side..

Maybe there is truth on both sides and in terms of this issue, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is not leaving anything to chance..

The FMC has called for public comment on its Interpretive Rule on Demurrage and Detention under the Shipping Act and in assessing just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to demurrage and detention charges..

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Questions regarding FMC registered forwarder for shipments to USA

Here are a few questions regarding FMC registered forwarder and documentation, raised by Kashan Faiz Sajjad.. I am a freight forwarder in Pakistan and not FMC registered, I have cargo destined for the US, and I ask my FMC registered agent in the US to issue their HBL. So is this workable? Is there any problem that I am going … Read more here..

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