In an effort to ease supply-chain issues, the bipartisan-supported Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 20221 ("Act") was signed into law on June 16, 2022.2 The Act is summarized as follows:
This bill revises requirements governing ocean shipping to increase the authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to promote the growth and development of U.S. exports through an ocean transportation system that is competitive, efficient, and economical. For example, the bill requires the FMC to (1) investigate complaints about detention and demurrage charges (i.e., late fees) charged by common ocean carriers, (2) determine whether those charges are reasonable, and (3) order refunds for unreasonable charges. It also prohibits common ocean carriers, marine terminal operators, or ocean transportation intermediaries from unreasonably refusing cargo space when available or resorting to other unfair or unjustly discriminatory methods.3
The Act was one of the bills that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) was calling on Congress to pass.4 The NAHB believes that the Act will "ease building material supply chain bottlenecks and allow builders to increase production of badly needed affordable housing."5
Please reach out to us for options on how to address supply-chain and material price increases on construction projects.
1 The full text of the Act can be found here: https://www.congress.gov/117/plaws/publ146/PLAW-117publ146.pdf.