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ISRI welcomes the signing of Ocean Shipping Reform Act into law

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act aims to alleviate high ocean shipping rates for the U.S. importers and exporters

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June 17 2022
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The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has welcomed the signing of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) into law by the U.S. President Joe Biden. In a press statement, the organisation has termed it a victory for the recycling industry as it “provides much needed relief from excessive ocean shipping rates.”  This follows numerous ISRI advocacy efforts on behalf of recyclers, including educating bill sponsors on the impact of unfair ocean shipping detention and demurrage charges, the statement said.

Designed to promote efficiencies and enhance the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) authorities, the bill will authorise the FMC to codify their interpretive rule on demurrage and detention by requiring carriers to notify shippers when their cargo is actually available rather than when the ship arrives thus preventing carriers and terminals from overcharging shippers for demurrage and detention. 

“By developing minimum service standards that meet the public interest, OSRA will require the FMC to determine the scope of the common carrier obligation of ocean carriers,” said ISRI Chief Lobbyist Billy Johnson. “OSRA does not lessen or alter the obligations and responsibilities of shippers in any way.”

The FMC is responsible for ensuring that ocean carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) engage in fair and competitive practices with respect to the movement of goods. Prior to the passage of OSRA, the agency had limited authority and leverage.

ISRI has long advocated for relief of the port congestion, shipping, and container issues facing the recycling industry. In May 2021, ISRI organised a virtual fly-in where recyclers met with members of the House and Senate transportation committees to address those concerns.

“We bring solutions to the table and don’t just complain,” Johnson said. “The National Retail Federation, the National Industrial Transportation League, Thompson Hine, and several of our other partners really put together a great coalition in support of OSRA.”