Shipping law signed by Biden allows for emergency injunction

U.S. President Joe Biden signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act into law last Thursday. This law is supposed to curb inflation and high container costs.

On Monday, the House of Representatives already agreed to the new law. Biden indicated in a speech last week that he was eager to sign the law.

The White House had already indicated in a statement that the law would give the maritime regulator FMC more leeway to impose rules on container shipping companies and to counter „illegal conduct.“ According to the White House, the FMC will now also have the authority „under certain circumstances“ to issue an emergency order to shipping companies that forces them to immediately share information with shippers, rail, and road carriers.

In particular, the Americans hope this will ensure that container shipping companies no longer refuse to take cargo from American exporters and that they do not charge excessive surcharges for such things as Demurrage and Detention costs.

FMC Chairman Daniel B. Maffei told CNBC that they hope the law should restore confidence in the supply chain but hopes his organization will not have to go too far in using the extra powers they have now been given thanks to the law.