USA - FMC Clarifies West Coast Congestion Surcharge Rules
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Dear friends,


While a strike is this time unlikely to happen, one never knows until the end…..


So please find below an information from the FMC.


Best regards

Fracht Ltd.

R. Reisdorf jun.


FMC Clarifies West Coast Congestion Surcharge Rules

  Jun.5--The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission is clarifying rules pertaining to congestion surcharges planned by trans-Pacific carriers in the event of U.S. West Coast work stoppages.

  The congestion surcharges must be published in tariffs for at least 30 days before the fees can be levied against shippers, the FMC said in a statement. As tariff rules applying to work stoppages are already in place and if such an event occurs, a carrier could impose a surcharge with immediate effect.

  Contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association started on a positive note on May 12, with both sides saying they expect to keep freight moving until an accord is met. The current six-year contract expires at midnight June 30.

  The 15 members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement have filed plans for congestion surcharges but have done them individually and without guidance from the TSA, said Neil Erich, a spokesman of the discussion group representing the lines in the eastbound Pacific. Hapag-Lloyd, for example, has announced a tentative surcharge of $800 per 20-foot container and $1,000 per 40-foot container.

  Some carriers haven’t filed new surcharges but told customers that existing ones on file with the FMC will be activated if congestion issues arise. For example, Maersk Line has a congestion surcharge in its tariff that was originally filed in August 2012 during contract negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association and waterfront employers on the East and Gulf Coasts, Maersk spokesman Tim Simpson said.

  Clarification: This story has been amended to better explain when congestion surcharges could be imposed.


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