Executive Order Targets Detention and Demurrage Practices

On Friday President Biden signed an executive order aimed at promoting competition in a range of sectors in the U.S. economy. More details are available in this White House fact sheet.

The executive order includes a section on maritime shipping, specifically targeting detention and demurrage fees and practices. The order encourages the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to “vigorously enforce the prohibition of unjust and unreasonable practices in the context of detention and demurrage pursuant to the Shipping Act” and asks the FMC to consider further rulemaking to improve detention and demurrage practices. The order also encourages the FMC to request that its new National Shipper Advisory Committee develops recommendations on these issues.

FMC Chairman Daniel Maffei issued a statement welcoming the executive order. Maffei noted that while the FMC is an independent agency that is technically not subject to executive orders, he is committed to “doing all I can to have the Commission fully participate in this government-wide coordinated effort to benefit the U.S. economy.”

Additional coverage is available from American Shipper and Journal of Commerce.