Well, that was quick..
On Thursday, the 16th of June 2022, the 46th President of the United States – Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. signed S. 3580, the “Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022,” into Law..
What is the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022..??
In short, it is an Act that
- authorizes appropriations for the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) for fiscal years 2022 through 2025;
- establishes additional requirements and prohibited conduct for ocean carriers;
- requires the FMC to issue rules related to certain fee assessments, prohibited practices, and establishment of a shipping registry; and
- authorizes the FMC under certain circumstances to issue an emergency order requiring common carriers to share information directly with shippers and rail and motor carriers.
As per the US Congress, “This bill revises provisions related to ocean shipping policies and is designed to support the growth and development of U.S. exports and promote reciprocal trade in the foreign commerce of the United States.”
The OSRA22 termed as “the first significant reform of shipping laws in 24 years” was based on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021, H.R. 4996 was passed by the House on the 13th of June 2022 and presented to the POTUS to be signed into Law..
In what is seen by many including the World Shipping Council (WSC) as a “mischaracterization of the industry”, President Biden repeated some of his comments about the situation with the Ocean Carriers particularly the ocean carrier members of the Global Shipping Alliances..
“A few months ago my state of the union address part of my plan to lower costs for Americans I promised to crack down on ocean carriers whose price hikes have hurt American families and American businesses and today I’m proud to say that we’ve got that done on a bipartisan basis,” said Biden
“In just a few minutes I’m going to be signing the ocean shipping reform act to put a stop to shipping companies taking advantage of American families, farmers, ranchers, and businesses and to bring down prices and give the American people a little bit of breathing room” added Biden..
“One of the factors affecting prices is this. Nine major shipping companies consolidated into three alliances control the vast majority of ocean shipping in the world and each of these nine are foreign-owned. During the pandemic, these carriers increased their prices by as much as 1000% while families and businesses struggled around the world. These carriers made 190 billion dollars in profit in 2021, 7 times higher than the year before and they raked in the profits, and the costs got passed on as you might guess, directly to the consumers sticking it to American families and businesses. These foreign-owned carriers have also been refusing to carry American-made products back to Asia” continued Biden
The jury is still out on whether the Ocean Shipping Reform Act 2022 will address US supply chain disruptions – or not..
President Biden thanked all the Representatives who pushed the bill and passed it so quickly..
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