SHIPPING ACT OF 1984
SEC. 1. (46 App. U.S.C. 1701 note (2002)). This Act may be cited as the Shipping Act of 1984.
SEC. 2. DECLARATION OF POLICY (46 App. U.S.C. 1701 (2002)).
The purposes of this Act are
(1) to establish a nondiscriminatory regulatory process for the common carriage of goods by water in the foreign commerce of the United States with a minimum of government intervention and regulatory costs;
(2) to provide an efficient and economic transportation system in the ocean commerce of the United States that is, insofar as possible, in harmony with, and responsive to, international shipping practices; and
(3) to encourage the development of an economically sound and efficient United States-flag liner fleet capable of meeting national security needs; and
(4) to promote the growth and development of United States exports through competititive and efficient ocean transportation and by placing a greater reliance on the marketplace.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS (46 App. U.S.C. 1702 (2002)).
As used in this Act
(1) agreement means an understanding, arrangement, or association (written or oral) and any modification or cancellation thereof; but the term does not include a maritime labor agreement.
(2) antitrust laws means the Act of July 2, 1890 (ch. 647, 26 Stat. 209), as amended; the Act of October 15, 1914 (ch. 323, 38 Stat. 730), as amended; the Federal Trade Commission Act (38 Stat. 717), as amended; sections 73 and 74 of the Act of August 27, 1894 (28 Stat. 570), as amended; the Act of June 19, 1936 (ch. 592, 49 Stat. 1526), as amended; the Antitrust Civil Process Act (76 Stat. 548), as amended; and amendments and Acts supplementary thereto.
(3) assessment agreement means an agreement, whether part of a collective-bargaining agreement or negotiated separately, to the extent that it provides for the funding of collectively bargained fringe benefit obligations on other than a uniform man-hour basis, regardless of the cargo handled or type of vessel or equipment utilized.
(4) bulk cargo means cargo that is loaded and carried in bulk without mark or count.
(5) Commission means the Federal Maritime Commission.
(6) common carrier means a person holding itself out to the general public to provide transportation by water of passengers or cargo between the United States and a foreign country for compensation that
(A) assumes responsibility for the transportation from the port or point of receipt to the port or point of destination, and
(B) utilizes, for all or part of that transportation, a vessel operating on the high seas or the Great Lakes between a port in the United States and a port in a foreign country, except that the term does not include a common carrier engaged in ocean transportation by ferry boat, ocean tramp, or chemical parcel-tanker or by vessel when primarily engaged in the carriage of perishable agricultural commodities (i) if the common carrier and the owener of those commodities are wholly-owned, directly or indirectly, by a person primarily engaged in the marketing and distribution of those commodities and (ii) only with respect to the carriage of those commodies. As used in this paragraph, chemical parcel-tanker means a vessel whose cargo-carrying capability consists of individual cargo tanks for bulk chemicals that are a permanent part of the vessel, that have segregation capability with piping systems to permit simultaneous carriage of several bulk chemical cargoes with minimum risk of cross-contamination, and that has a valid certificate of fitness under the International Maritime Organization Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk.
(7) conference means an association of ocean common carriers permitted, pursuant to an approved or effective agreement, to engage in concerted activity and to utilize a common tariff; but the term does not include a joint service, consortium, pooling, sailing, or transshipment arrangement.
(8) controlled carrier means an ocean common carrier that is, or whose operating assets are, directly or indirectly, owned or controlled by a government; ownership or control by a government shall be deemed to exist with respect to any carrier if
(A) a majority portion of the interest in the carrier is owned or controlled in any manner by that government, by any agency thereof, or by any public or private person controlled by that government; or
(B) that government has the right to appoint or disapprove the appointment of a majority of the directors, the chief operating officer, or the chief executive officer of the carrier.
(9) deferred rebate means a return by a common carrier of any portion of the freight money to a shipper as a consideration for that shipper giving all, or any portion, of its shipments to that or any other common carrier over a fixed period of time, the payment of which is deferred beyond the completion of service for which it is paid, and is made only if the shipper has agreed to make a further shipment or shipments with that or any other common carrier.
(10) forest products means forest products, including, but not limited to lumber in bundles, rough timber, ties, poles, piling, laminated beams, bundled siding, bundled plywood, bundled core stock or veneers, bundled particle or fiber boards, bundled
hardwood, wood pulp in rolls, wood pulp in unitized bales, paper and paper board in rolls, or in pallet or skid-sized sheets.
(11) inland division means the amount paid by a common carrier to an inland carrier for the inland portion of through transportation offered to the public by the common carrier.
(12) inland portion means the charge to the public by a common carrier for the nonocean portion of through transportation.
(13) loyalty contract means a contract with an ocean common carrier or agreement by which a shipper obtains lower rates by committing all or a fixed portion of its cargo to that carrier or agreement and the contract provides for a deferred rebate arrangement.
(14) marine terminal operator means a person engaged in the United States in the business of furnishing wharfage, dock, warehouse, or other terminal facilities in connection with a common carrier, or in connection with a common carrier and a water carrier subject to subchapter 11 of chapter 135 of title 49, United States Code.
(15) maritime labor agreement means a collective-bargaining agreement between an employer subject to this Act, or group of such employers, and a labor organization representing employees in the maritime or stevedoring industry, or an agreement preparatory to such a collective-bargaining agreement among members of a multiemployer bargaining group, or an agreement specifically implementing provisions of such a collective-bargaining agreement or providing for the formation, financing, or administration of a multiemployer bargaining group; but the term does not include an assessment agreement.
(16) ocean common carrier means a vessel-operating common carrier.
(17) ocean transportation intermediary means an ocean freight forwarder or a non-vessel-operating common carrier. For purposes of this paragraph, the term:
(A) ocean freight forwarder means a person that
(i) in the United States, dispatches shipments from the United States via a common carrier and books or otherwise arranges space for those shipments on behalf of shippers; and
(ii) processes the documentation or performs related activities incident to those shipments; and
(B) non-vessel-operating common carrier means a common carrier that does not operate the vessels by which the ocean transportation is provided, and is a shipper in its relationship with an ocean common carrier.
(18) person includes individuals, corporations, partnerships, and associations existing under or authorized by the laws of the United States or of a foreign country.
(19) service contract means a written contract, other than a bill of lading or a receipt, between one or more shippers and an individual ocean common carrier or an agreeement between or among ocean common carriers in which the shipper or shippers makes a commitment to provide a certain volume or portion of cargo over a fixed time period, and the ocean common carrier or the agreement commits to a certain rate or rate schedule and a defined service level, such as assured space, transit time, port rotation, or similar service features. The contract may also specify provisions in the event of nonperformance on the part of any party.
(21) shipment means all of the cargo carried under the terms of a single bill of lading.
(21) shipper means
(A) a cargo owner;
(B) the person for whose account the ocean transportation is provided;
(C) the person to whom delivery is to be made;
(D) a shippers association; or
(E) an ocean transportation intermediary, as defined in paragraph (17)(B) of this section, that accepts responsibility for payment of all charges applicable under the tariff or service contract.
(22) shippers association means a group of shippers that consolidates or distributes freight on a nonprofit basis for the members of the group in order to secure carload, truckload, or other volume rates or service contracts.
(23) through rate means the single amount charged by a common carrier in connection with through transportation.
(24) through transportation means continuous transportation between origin and destination for which a through rate is assessed and which is offered or performed by one or more carriers, at least one of which is a common carrier, between a United States point or port and a foreign point or port.
(25) United States includes the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and all other United States territories and possessions.
SEC. 4. AGREEMENTS WITHIN SCOPE OF ACT (46 App. U.S.C. 1703 (2002)).
(a) Ocean common carriers. This Act applies to agreements by or among ocean common carriers to
(1) discuss, fix, or regulate transportation rates, including through rates, cargo space accommodations, and other conditions of service;
(2) pool or apportion traffic, revenues, earnings, or losses;
(3) allot ports or restrict or otherwise regulate the number and character of sailings between ports;
(4) limit or regulate the volume or character of cargo or passenger traffic to be carried;
(5) engage in exclusive, preferential, or cooperative working arrangements among themselves or with one or more marine terminal operators;
(6) control, regulate, or prevent competition in international ocean transportation; or
(7) discuss and agree on any matter related to service contracts.
(b) Marine terminal operators. This Act applies to agreements among marine terminal operators and among one or more marine terminal operators and one or more ocean common carriers to
(1) discuss, fix, or regulate rates or other conditions of service; or
(2) engage in exclusive, preferential, or cooperative working arrangements, to the extent that such agreements involve ocean transportation in the foreign commerce of the United States.
(c) Acquisitions. This Act does not apply to an acquisition by any person, directly or indirectly, of any voting security or assets of any other person.
SEC. 5. AGREEMENTS (46 App. U.S.C. 1704 (2002)).
(a) Filing Requirements. A true copy of every agreement entered into with respect to an activity described in section 4(a) or (b) of this Act shall be filed with the Commission, except agreements related to transportation to be performed within or between foreign countries and agreements among common carriers to establish, operate, or maintain a marine terminal in the United States. In the case of an oral agreement, a complete memorandum specifying in detail the substance of the agreement shall be filed. The Commission may by regulation prescribe the form and manner in which an agreement shall be filed and the additional information and documents necessary to evaluate the agreement.
(b) Conference Agreements. Each conference agreement must
(1) state its purpose;
(2) provide reasonable and equal terms and conditions for admission and readmission to conference membership for any ocean common carrier willing to serve the particular trade or route;
(3) permit any member to withdraw from conference membership upon reasonable notice without penalty;
(4) at the request of any member, require an independent neutral body to police fully the obligations of the conference and its members;
(5) prohibit the conference from engaging in conduct prohibited by section 10(c)(1) or (3) of this Act;
(6) provide for a consultation process designed to promote
(A) commercial resolution of disputes, and
(B) cooperation with shippers in preventing and eliminating malpractices;
(7) establish procedures for promptly and fairly considering shippers requests and complaints; and
(8) provide that any member of the conference may take independent action on any rate or service item upon not more than 5 calendar days notice to the conference and that, except for exempt commodities not published in the conference tariff, the conference will include the new rate or service item in its tariff for use by that member, effective no later than 5 calendar days after receipt of the notice, and by any other member that notifies the conference that it elects to adopt the independent rate or service item on or after its effective date, in lieu of the existing conference tariff provision for that rate or service item.
(c) Ocean Common Carrier Agreements. An ocean common carrier agreement may not
(1) prohibit or restrict a member or members of the agreeement from engaging in negotiations for service contracts with one or more shippers;
(2) require a member or members of the agreement to disclose a negotiation on a service contract, or the terms and conditions of a service contract, other than those terms or conditions required to be published under section 8(c)(3) of this Act; or
(3) adopt mandatory rules or requirements affecting the right of an agreement member or agreement members to negotiate and enter into service contracts.
An agreement may provide authority to adopt voluntary guidelines relating to the terms and procedures of an agreement members or agreement members service contracts if the guidelines explicity state the right of members of the agreement not to follow the guidelines. These guidelines shall be confidentially submitted to the Commission.
(d) Interconference Agreements. Each agreement between carriers not members of the same conference must provide the right of independent action for each carrier. Each agreement between conferences must provide the right of independent action for each conference.
(e) Assessment Agreements. Assessment agreements shall be filed with the Commission and become effective on filing. The Commission shall thereafter, upon complaint filed within 2 years of the date of the agreement, disapprove, cancel, or modify any such agreement, or charge or assessment pursuant thereto, that it finds, after notice and hearing, to be unjustly discriminatory or unfair as between carriers, shippers, or ports. The Commission shall issue its final decision in any such proceeding within 1 year of the date of filing of the complaint. To the extent that an assessment or charge is found in the proceeding to be unjustly discriminatory or unfair as between carriers, shippers, or ports, the Commission shall remedy the unjust discrimination or unfairness for the period of time between the filing of the complaint and the final decision by means of assessment adjustments. These adjustments shall be implemented by prospective credits or debits to future assessments or charges, except in the case of a complainant who has ceased activities subject to the assessment or charge, in which case reparation may be awarded. Except for this subsection and section 7(a) of this Act, this Act does not apply to assessment agreements.
(f) Maritime Labor Agreements. This Act does not apply to maritime labor agreements. This subsection does not exempt from this Act any rates, charges, regulations, or practices of a common carrier that are required to be set forth in a tariff, or are essential terms of a service contract whether or not those rates, charges, regulations, or practices arise out of, or are otherwise related to, a maritime labor agreement.
(g) Vessel Sharing Agreements. An ocean common carrier that is the owner, operator, or bareboat, time, or slot charterer of a United States-flag liner vessel documented pursuant to sections 12012(a) or (d) of title 46, United States Code, is authorized to agree with an ocean common carrier that is not the owner, operator or bareboat charterer for at least one year of United States-flag liner vessels which are eligible to be included in the Maritime Security Fleet Program and are enrolled in an Emergency Preparedness Program pursuant to subtitle B of title VI of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 (46 U.S.C. App. 1187 et seq.), to which it charters or subcharters the United States-flag vessel or space on the United States-flag vessel that such charterer or subcharterer may not use or make available space on the vessel for the carriage of cargo reserved by law for United States-flag vessels.2
SEC. 6. ACTION ON AGREEMENTS (46 App. U.S.C. 1705 (2002)).
(a) Notice. Within 7 days after an agreement is filed, the Commis-sion shall transmit a notice of its filing to the Federal Register for publication.
(b) Review Standard. The Commission shall reject any agreement filed under section 5(a) of this Act that, after preliminary review, it finds does not meet the requirements of section 5. The Commission shall notify in writing the person filing the agreement of the reason for rejection of the agreement.
(c) Review and Effective Date. Unless rejected by the Commission under subsection (b), agreements, other than assessment agreements, shall become effective
(1) on the 45th day after filing, or on the 30th day after notice of the filing is published in the Federal Register, whichever day is later; or
(2) if additional information or documentary material is requested under subsection (d), on the 45th day after the Commission receives
(A) all the additional information and documentary material requested; or
(B) if the request is not fully complied with, the information and documentary material submitted and a statement of the reasons for noncompliance with the request. The period specified in paragraph (2) may be extended only by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upon an application of the Commission under subsection (i).
(d) Additional Information. Before the expiration of the period specified in subsection (c)(1), the Commission may request from the person filing the agreement any additional information and documentary material it deems necessary to make the determinations required by this section.
(e) Request for Expedited Approval. The Commission may, upon request of the filing party, shorten the review period specified in subsection (c), but in no event to a date less than 14 days after notice of the filing of the agreement is published in the Federal Register.
(f) Term of Agreements. The Commission may not limit the effectiveness of an agreement to a fixed term.
(g) Substantially Anticompetitive Agreements. If, at any time after the filing or effective date of an agreement, the Commission determines that the agreement is likely, by a reduction in competition, to produce an unreasonable reduction in transportation service or an unreasonable increase in transportation cost, it may, after notice to the person filing the agreement, seek appropriate injunctive relief under subsection (h).
(h) Injunctive Relief. The Commission may, upon making the determination specified in subsection (g), bring suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to enjoin operation of the agreement. The court may issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction and, upon a showing that the agreement is likely, by a reduction in competition, to produce an unreasonable reduction in transportation service or an unreasonable increase in transportation cost, may enter a permanent injunction. In a suit under this subsection, the burden of proof is on the Commission. The court may not allow a third party to intervene with respect to a claim under this subsection.
(i) Compliance with Informational Needs. If a person filing an agreement, or an officer, director, partner, agent, or employee thereof, fails substantially to comply with a request for the submission of additional information or documentary material within the period specified in subsection (c), the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, at the request of the Commission
(1) may order compliance;
(2) shall extend the period specified in subsection (c)(2) until there has been substantial compliance; and
(3) may grant such other equitable relief as the court in its discretion determines necessary or appropriate.
(j) Nondisclosure of Submitted Material. Except for an agreement filed under section 5 of this Act, information and documentary material filed with the Commission under section 5 or 6 is exempt from disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code and may not be made public except as may be relevant to an administrative or judicial action or proceeding. This section does not prevent disclosure to either body of Congress or to a duly authorized committee or subcommittee of Congress.
(k) Representation. Upon notice to the Attorney General, the Commission may represent itself in district court proceedings under subsections (h) and (i) of this section and section 11(h) of this Act. With the approval of the Attorney General, the Commission may represent itself in proceedings in the United States Courts of Appeal under subsections (h) and (i) of this section and section 11(h) of this Act.
SEC. 7. EXEMPTION FROM ANTITRUST LAWS (46 App. U.S.C. 1706 (2002)).
(a) In General. The antitrust laws do not apply to
(1) any agreement that has been filed under section 5 of this Act and is effective under section 5(d) or section 6, or is exempt under section 16 of this Act from any requirement of this Act;
(2) any activity or agreement within the scope of this Act, whether permitted under or prohibited by this Act, undertaken or entered into with a reasonable basis to conclude that (A) it is pursuant to an agreement on file with the Commission and in effect when the activity took place, or (B) it is exempt under section 16 of this Act from any filing or publication requirement of this Act;
(3) any agreement or activity that relates to transportation services within or between foreign countries, whether or not via the United States, unless that agreement or activity has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the commerce of the United States;
(4) any agreement or activity concerning the foreign inland segment of through transportation that is part of transportation provided in a United States import or export trade;
(5) any agreement or activity to provide or furnish wharfage, dock, warehouse, or other terminal facilities outside the United States; or
(6) subject to section 20(e)(2) of this Act, any agreement, modification, or cancellation approved by the Commission before the effective date of this Act under section 15 of the Shipping Act, 1916, or permitted under section 14b thereof, and any properly published tariff, rate, fare, or charge, classification, rule, or regulation explanatory thereof implementing that agreement, modification, or cancellation.
(b) Exceptions. This Act does not extend antitrust immunity
(1) to any agreement with or among air carriers, rail carriers, motor carriers, or common carriers by water not subject to this Act with respect to transportation within the United States;
(2) to any discussion or agreement among common carriers that are subject to this Act regarding the inland divisions (as opposed to the inland portions) of through rates within the United States;
(3) to any agreement among common carriers subject to this Act to establish, operate, or maintain a marine terminal in the United States; or
(4) to any loyalty contract.
(1) Any determination by an agency or court that results in the denial or removal of the immunity to the antitrust laws set forth in subsection (a) shall not remove or alter the antitrust immunity for the period before the determination.
(2) No person may recover damages under section 4 of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 15), or obtain injunctive relief under section 16 of that Act (15 U.S.C. 26), for conduct prohibited by this Act.
SEC. 8. TARIFFS (46 App. U.S.C. 1707 (2002)).
(a) In General.
(1) Except with regard to bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, new assembled motor vehicles, waste paper, and paper waste, each common carrier and conference shall keep open to public inspection in an automated tariff system, tariffs showing all its rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices between all points or ports on its own route and on any through transportation route that has been established. However, common carriers shall not be required to state separately or otherwise reveal in tariffs the inland divisions of a through rate. Tariffs shall
(A) state the places between which cargo will be carried;
(B) list each classification of cargo in use;
(C) state the level of ocean transportation intermediary, as defined in section 3(17)(A), compensation, if any, by a carrier or conference;
(D) state separately each terminal or other charge, privilege, or facility under the control of the carrier or conference and any rules or regulations that in any way change, affect, or determine any part or the aggregate of the rates or charges;
(E) include sample copies of any bill of lading, contract of affreightment, or other document evidencing the transportation agreement; and
(F) include copies of any loyalty contract, omitting the shippers name.
(2) Tariffs shall be made available electronically to any person, without time, quanity, or other limitation, through appropriate access from remote locations, and a reasonable charge may be assessed for such access. No charge may be assessed a Federal agency for such access.
(b) Time-Volume Rates. Rates shown in tariffs filed under subsection (a) may vary with the volume of cargo offered over a specified period of time.
(c) Service Contracts.
(1) In General. An individual ocean common carrier or an agreement between or among ocean common carriers may enter into a service contract with one or more shippers subject to the requirements of this Act. The exclusive remedy for a breach of a contract entered into under this subsection shall be an action in an appropriate court, unless the parties otherwise agree. In no case may the contract dispute resolution forum be controlled by or in any way affiliated with a controlled carrier as defined in section 3(8) of this Act, or by the government which owns or controls the carrier.
(2) Filing Requirements. Except for service contracts dealing with bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, new assembled motor vehicles, waste paper, or paper waste, each contract entered into under this subsection by an individual ocean common carrier or an agreement shall be filed confidentially with the Commission. Each service contract shall include the following essential terms
(A) the origin and destination port ranges;
(B) the origin and destination geographic areas in the case of through intermodal movements;
(C) the commodity or commodities involved;
(D) the minimum volume or portion;
(E) the line-haul rate;
(F) the duration;
(G) service commitments; and
(H) the liquidated damages for nonperformance, if any.
(3) Publication of Certain Terms. When a service contract is filed confidentially with the Commission, a concise statement of the essential terms described in paragraphs 2(A), (C), (D), and (F) shall be published and made available to the general public in tariff format.
(4) Disclosure of Certain Terms.
(A) An ocean common carrier, which is a party to or is subject to the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement with a labor organization, shall, in response to a written request by such labor organization, state whether it is reponsible for t
he following work at dock areas and within port areas in the United States with respect to cargo transportation under a service contract described in paragraph (1) of this subsection
(i) the movement of the shippers cargo on a dock area or within the port area or to or from railroad cars on a dock area or within the port area;
(ii) the assignment of intraport carriage of the shippers cargo between areas on a dock or within the port area;
(iii) the assignment of the carriage of the shippers cargo between a container yard on a dock area or within the port area and a rail yard adjacent to such container yard; and
(iv) the assignment of container freight station work and container maintenance and repair work performed at a dock area or within the port area.
(B) The common carrier shall provide the information described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph to the requesting labor organization within a reasonable period of time.
(C) This paragraph requires the disclosure of information by an ocean common carrier only if there exists an applicable and otherwise lawful collective bargaining agreement which pertains to that carrier. No disclosure made by an ocean common carrier shall be deemed to be an admission or agreement that any work is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Any dispute regarding whether any work is covered by a collective bargaining agreement and the responsibility of the ocean common carrier under such agreement shall be resolved solely in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures contained in the collective bargaining agreement and the National Labor Relations Act, and without reference to this paragraph.
(D) Nothing in this paragraph shall have any effect on the lawfulness or unlawfulness under this Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Taft-Hartly Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the antitrust laws, or any other Federal or State law, or any revisions or amendments thereto, of any collective bargaining agreement or element thereof, including any element that constitutes an essential term of a service contract under this subsection.
(E) For purposes of this paragraph the terms dock area and within the port area shall have the same meaning and scope as in the applicable collective bargaining agreement between the requesting labor organization and the carrier.
(d) Tariff Rates. No new or initial rate or change in an existing rate that results in an increased cost to the shipper may become effective earlier than 30 calendar days after publication. The Commission, for good cause, may allow such a new or initial rate or change to become effective in less than 30 calendar days. A change in an existing rate that results in a decreased cost to the shipper may become effective upon publication.
(e) Refunds. The Commission may, upon application of a carrier or shipper, permit a common carrier or conference to refund a portion of freight charges collected from a shipper or to waive the collection of a portion of the charges from a shipper if
(1) there is an error in a, in failing to publish a new tariff, or an error in quoting a tariff, and the refund will not result in discrimination among shippers, ports, or carriers;
(2) the common carrier or conference has, prior to filing an application for authority to make a refund for an error in a tariff or a failure to publish a tariff, published a new tariff that sets forth the rate on which the refund or waiver would be based; and
(3) the application for refund or waiver is filed with the Commission within 180 days from the date of shipment.
(f) Marine Terminal Operator Schedules. A marine terminal operator may make available to the public, subject to section 10(d) of this Act, a schedule of rates, regulations, and practices, including limitations of liability for cargo loss or damage, pertaining to receiving, delivering, handling, or storing property at its marine terminal. Any such schedule made available to the public shall be enforceable by an appropriate court as an implied contract without proof of actual knowledge of its provisions.
(g) Regulations. The Commission shall by regulation prescribe the requirements for the accessibility and accuracy of automated tariff systems established under this section. The Commission may, after periodic review, prohibit the use of any automated tariff system tha
t fails to meet the requirements established under this section. The Commission may not require a common carrier to provide a remote terminal for access under subsetion (a)(2). The Commission shall by regulation prescribe the form and manner in which
marine terminal operator schedules authorized by this section shall be published.
SEC. 9. CONTROLLED CARRIERS (46 App. U.S.C. 1708 (2002)).
(a) Controlled Carrier Rates. No controlled carrier subject to this section may maintain rates or charges in its tariffs or service contracts, or charge or assess rates, that are below a level that is just and reasonable, nor may any such carrier establish maintain, or enforce unjust or unreasonable classifications, rules, or regulations in those tariffs or service contracts. An unjust or unreasonable classification, rule, or regulation means one that results or is likely to result in the carriage or handling of cargo at rates
or charges that are below a just and reasonable level. The Commission may, at any time after notice and hearing, prohibit the publication or use of any rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations that the controlled carrier has failed to demonstrate to be just and reasonable. In a proceeding under this subsection, the burden of proof is on the controlled carrier to demonstrate that its rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations are just and reasonable. Rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations that have been suspended or prohibited by the Commission are void and their use is unlawful.
(b) Rate Standards. For the purpose of this section, in determining whether rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations by a controlled carrier are just and reasonable, the Commission shall take into account whether the rates or charges which have been published or assessed or which would result from the pertinent classifications, rules, or regulations are below a level which is fully compensatory to the controlled carrier based upon that carriers actual costs or upon its constructive costs. For purposes o
f the preceding sentence, the term constructive costs means the costs of another carrier, other than a controlled carrier, operating similar vessels and equipment in the same or a similar trade. The Commission may also take into account other appropri
ate factors, including but not limited to, whether
(1) the rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations are the same as or similar to those published or assessed or assessed by other carriers in the same trade;
(2) the rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations are required to assure movement of particular cargo in the trade; or
(3) the rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations are required to maintain acceptable continuity, level, or quality of common carrier service to or from affected ports.
(c) Effective Date of Rates. Notwithstanding section 8(d) of this Act and except for service contracts, the rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations of controlled carriers may not, without special permission of the Commission, become effective sooner than the 30th day after the date of publication. Each controlled carrier shall, upon the request of the Commission, file, within 20 days of request (with respect to its existing or proposed rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations), a statement of justification that sufficiently details the controlled carriers need and purpose for such rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations upon which the Commission may reasonably base its determination of the lawfulness thereof.
(d) Prohibition of Rates. Within 120 days after the receipt of information requested by the Commission under this section, the Commission shall determine whether the rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations of a controlled carrier may be unjust or unreasonable. Whenever the Commission is of the opinion that the rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations published or assessed by a controlled carrier may be unjust and unreasonable, the Commission shall issue an order to the controlled carrier to show cause why those rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations should not be prohibited. Pending a determination as to their lawfulness in such a proceeding, the Commission may suspend the rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations at any time before their effective date. In the case of rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations that have already become effective, the Commission may, upon the issuance of an order to show cause, suspend those rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations on not less than 30 days notice to the controlled carrier. No period of suspension under this subsection may be greater than 180 days. Whenever the Commission has suspended any rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations under this subsection, the affected controlled carrier may publish new rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations to take effect immediately during the suspension period in lieu of the suspended rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulationsexcept that the Commission may reject the new rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations if it is of the opinion that they are unjust and unreasonable.
(e) Presidential Review. Concurrently with the publication thereof, the Commission shall transmit to the President each order of suspension or final order of prohibition of rates, charges, classifications, rules, or regulations of a controlled carrier subject to this section. Within 10 days after the receipt or the effective date of the Commission order, the President may request the Commission in writing to stay the effect of the Commissions order if the President finds that the stay is required for reasons of national def
ense or foreign policy, which reasons shall be specified in the report. Notwithstanding any other law, the Commission shall immediately grant the request by the issuance of an order in which the Presidents request shall be described. During any such stay, the President shall, whenever practicable, attempt to resolve the matter in controversy by negotiation with representatives of the applicable foreign governments.
(f) Exceptions. This section does not apply to
(1) a controlled carrier of a state whose vessels are entitled by a treaty of the United States to receive national or most-favored-nation treatment; or
(2) a trade served exclusively by controlled carriers.
SEC. 10. PROHIBITED ACTS (46 App. U.S.C. 1709 (2002)).
(a) In General. No person may
(1) knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly, by means of false billing, false classification, false weighing, false report of weight, false measurement, or by any other unjust or unfair device or means obtain or attempt to obtain ocean transportation for property at less than the rates or charges that would otherwise be applicable;
(2) operate under an agreement required to be filed under section 5 of this Act that has not become effective under section 6, or that has been rejected, disapproved, or canceled; or
(3) operate under an agreement required to be filed under section 5 of this Act except in accordance with the terms of the agreement or any modifications made by the Commission to the agreement.
(b) Common Carriers. No common carrier, either alone or in conjunction with any other person, directly or indirectly, may
(1) allow any person to obtain transportation for property at less than the rates or charges established by the carrier in its tariff or service contract by means of false billing, false classification, false weighing, false measurement, or by any other unjust or unfair device or means;
(2) provide service in the liner trade that
(A) is not in accordance with the rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices contained in a tariff published or a service contract entered into under section 8 of this Act unless excepted or exempted under section 8(a)(1) or 16 of this Act; or
(B) is under a tariff or service contract which has been suspended or prohibited by the Commission under section 9 of this Act or the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988 (46 U.S.C. App. 1710a);
(3) retaliate against any shipper by refusing, or threatening to refuse, cargo space accommodations when available, or resort to other unfair or unjustly discriminatory methods because the shipper has patronized another carrier, or has filed a complaint, or for any other reason;
(4) for service pursuant to a tariff, engage in any unfair or unjustly discriminatory practice in the matter of
(A) rates or charges;
(B) cargo classifications;
(C) cargo space accommodations or other facilities, due regard being had for the proper loading of the vessel and the available tonnage;
(D) the loading and landing of freight; or
(E) the adjustment and settlement of claims;
(5) for service pursuant to a service contract, engage in any unfair or unjustly discriminatory practice in the matter of rates or charges with respect to any port;
(6) use a vessel or vessels in a particular trade for the purpose of excluding, preventing, or reducing competition by driving another ocean common carrier out of that trade;
(7) offer or pay any deferred rebates;
(8) for service pursuant to a tariff, give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage or impose any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage;
(9) for service pursuant to a service contract, give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage or impose any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage with respect to any port;
(10) unreasonably refuse to deal or negotiate;
(11) knowingly and willfully accept cargo from or transport cargo for the account of an ocean transportation intermediary that does not have a tariff and a bond, insurance, or other surety as required by sections 8 and 19 of this Act;
(12) knowingly and willfully enter into a service contract with an ocean transportation intermediary that does not have a tariff and a bond, insurance, or other surety as required by sections 8 and 19 of this Act, or with an affiliate of such ocean transportation intermediary; or
(13) knowingly disclose, offer, solicit, or receive any information concerning the nature, kind, quantity, destination, consignee, or routing of any property tendered or delivered to a common carrier without the consent of the shipper or consignee if that information
(A) may be used to the detriment or prejudice of the shipper or consignee;
(B) may improperly disclose its business transaction to a competitor; or
(C) may be used to the detriment or prejudice of any common carrier.
Nothing in paragraph (13) shall be construed to prevent providing such information, in response to legal process, to the United States, the Commission, or to an independent neutral body operating within the scope of its authority to fulfill the policing obligations of the parties to an agreement effective under this Act. Nor shall it be prohibited for any ocean common carrier that is a party to a conference agreement approved under this Act, or any receiver, trustee, lessee, agent, or employee of that carrier, or any other person authorized by that carrier to receive information, to give information to the conference or any person, firm, corporation, or agency designated by the conference, or to prevent the conference or its designee from soliciting or receiving information for the purpose of (5) determining whether a shipper or consignee has breached an agreement with the conference or its member lines or for the purpose of determining whether a member of the conference has breached the conference agreement, or for the purpose of compiling statistics of cargo movement, but the use of such information for any other purpose prohibited by this Act or any other Act is prohibited.
(c) Concerted Action. No conference or group of two or more common carriers may
(1) boycott or take any other concerted action resulting in an unreasonable refusal to deal;
(2) engage in conduct that unreasonably restricts the use of intermodal services or technological innovations;
(3) engage in any predatory practice designed to eliminate the participation, or deny the entry, in a particular trade of a common carrier not a member of the conference, a group of common carriers, an ocean tramp, or a bulk carrier;
(4) negotiate with a nonocean carrier or group of nonocean carriers, unless such negotiations and any resulting agreements are not in violation of the antitrust laws and are consistent with the purposes of this Act (for example, truck, rail, or air operators) on any matter relating to rates or services provided to ocean common carriers within the United States by those nonocean carriers, unless such negotiations and any resulting agreements are not in violation of the antitrust laws and are consistent with the purposes of this Act: Provided, That this paragraph does not prohibit the setting and publishing of a joint through rate by a conference, joint venture, or an association of ocean common carriers;
(5) deny in the export foreign commerce of the United States compensation to an ocean transportation intermediary, as defined by section 3(17)(A) of this Act, or limit that compensation to less than a reasonable amount;
(6)3 allocate shippers among specific carriers that are parties to the agreement or prohibit a carrier that is a party to the agreement from soliciting cargo from a particular shipper, except as authorized by section 5(g) of this Act, or as otherwise requir
ed by the law of the United States or the importing or exporting country, or as agreed to bya shipper in a service contract;
(7) for service pursuant to a service contract, engage in any unjustly discriminatory practice in the matter of rates or charges with respect to any locality, port, or persons due to those persons status as shippers associations or ocean transportation intermediaries; or
(8) for service pursuant to a service contract, give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage or impose any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage with respect to any locality, port, or persons due to those persons status as shippers
associations or ocean transportation intermediaries;
(d) Common Carriers, Ocean Transportation Intermediaries, and Marine Terminal Operators.
(1) No common carrier, ocean transportation intermediary, or marine terminal operator may fail to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property.
(2) No marine terminal operator may agree with another marine terminal operator or with a common carrier to boycott, or unreasonably discriminate in the provision of terminal services to, any common carrier or ocean tramp.
(3) The prohibitions in subsections (b)(10) and (13) of this section apply to marine terminal operators.
(4) No marine terminal operator may give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage or impose any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage with respect to any person.
(5) The prohibition in subsection (b)(13) of this section applies to ocean transportation intermediaries, as defined by section 3(17)(A) of this Act.
(e) Joint Ventures. For purposes of this section, a joint venture or consortium of two or more common carriers but operated as a single entity shall be treated as a single common carrier.
SEC. 11. COMPLAINTS, INVESTIGATIONS, REPORTS, AND REPARATIONS (46 App. U.S.C. 1710 (2002)).
(a) Filing of Complaints. Any person may file with the Commission a sworn complaint alleging a violation of this Act, other than section 6(g), and may seek reparation for any injury caused to the complainant by that violation.
(b) Satisfaction or Investigation of Complaints. The Commission shall furnish a copy of a complaint filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section to the person named therein who shall, within a reasonable time specified by the Commission, satisfy the complaint or answer it in writing. If the complaint is not satisfied, the Commission shall investigate it in an appropriate manner and make an appropriate order.4
(c) Commission Investigations. The Commission, upon complaint or upon its own motion, may investigate any conduct or agreement that it believes may be in violation of this Act. Except in the case of an injunction granted under subsection (h) of this section, each agreement under investigation under this section remains in effect until the Commission issues an order under this subsection. The Commission may by order disapprove, cancel, or modify any agreement filed under section 5(a) of this Act that operates in violation of this Act. With respect to agreements inconsistent with section 6(g) of this Act, the Commissions sole remedy is under section 6(h).
(d) Conduct of Investigation. Within 10 days after the initiation of a proceeding under this section, the Commission shall set a date on or before which its final decision will be issued. This date may be extended for good cause by order of the Commission.
(e) Undue Delays. If, within the time period specified in subsection (d), the Commission determines that it is unable to issue a final decision because of undue delays caused by a party to the proceedings, the Commission may impose sanctions, including entering a decision adverse to the delaying party.
(f) Reports. The Commission shall make a written report of every investigation made under this Act in which a hearing was held stating its conclusions, decisions, findings of fact, and order. A copy of this report shall be furnished to all parties. The Commission shall publish each report for public information, and the published report shall be competent evidence in all courts of the United States.
(g) Reparations. For any complaint filed within 3 years after the cause of action accrued, the Commission shall, upon petition of the complainant and after notice and hearing, direct payment of reparations to the complainant for actual injury (which, for purposes of this subsection, also includes the loss of interest at commercial rates compounded from the date of injury) caused by a violation of this Act plus reasonable attorneys fees. Upon a showing that the injury was caused by activity that is prohibited by section 10(b)(3) or (6) or section 10(c)(1) or (3) of this Act, or that violates section 10(a)(2) or (3), the Commission may direct the payment of additional amounts; but the total recovery of a complainant may not exceed twice the amount of the actual injury. In the case of injury caused by an activity that is prohibited by section 10(b)(4)(A) or (B) of this Act, the amount of the injury shall be the difference between the rate paid by the injured shipper and the most favorable rate paid by another shipper.
(1) In connection with any investigation conducted under this section, the Commission may bring suit in a district court of the United States to enjoin conduct in violation of this Act. Upon a showing that standards for granting injunctive relief by courts of equity are met and after notice to the defendant, the court may grant a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction for a period not to exceed 10 days after the Commission has issued an order disposing of the issues under investigation. Any such suit shall be brought in a district in which the defendant resides or transacts business.
(2) After filing a complaint with the Commission under subsection (a), the complainant may file suit in a district court of the United States to enjoin conduct in violation of this Act. Upon a showing that standards for granting injunctive relief by courts of equity are met and after notice to the defendant, the court may grant a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction for a period not to exceed 10 days after the Commission has issued an order disposing of the complaint. Any such suit shall be brought in the district in which the defendant has been sued by the Commission under paragraph (1); or, if no suit has been filed, in a district in which the defendant resides or transacts business. A defendant that prevails in a suit under this paragraph shall be allowed reasonable attorneys fees to be assessed and collected as part of the costs of the suit.
SEC. 12. SUBPENAS AND DISCOVERY (46 App. U.S.C. 1711 (2002)).
(a) In General. In investigations and adjudicatory proceedings under this Act
(1) depositions, written interrogatories, and discovery procedures may be utilized by any party under rules and regulations issued by the Commission that, to the extent practicable, shall be in conformity with the rules applicable in civil proceedings in the district courts of the United States; and
(2) the Commission may by subpena compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, documents, and other evidence.
(b) Witness Fees. Witnesses shall, unless otherwise prohibited by law, be entitled to the same fees and mileage as in the courts of the United States.
SEC. 13. PENALTIES (46 App. U.S.C. 1712 (2002)).
(a) Assessment of Penalty. Whoever violates a provision of this Act, a regulation issued thereunder, or a Commission order is liable to the United States for a civil penalty. The amount of the civil penalty, unless otherwise provided in this Act, may not exceed $5,000 for each violation unless the violation was willfully and knowingly committed, in which case the amount of the civil penalty may not exceed $25,000 for each violation. Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate offense. The amount of any penalty imposed upon a common carrier under this subsection shall constitute a lien upon the vessels operated by that common carrier and any such vessel may be libeled therefore in the district court of the United States for the district in which it may be found.
(b) Additional Penalties.
(1) For a violation of section 10(b)(1),(2), or (7) of this Act, the Commission may suspend any or all tariffs of the common carrier, or that common carriers right to use any or all tariffs of conferences of which it is a member, for a period not to exceed 12 months.
(2) For failure to supply information ordered to be produced or compelled by subpena under section 12 of this Act, the Commission may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, suspend any or all tariffs of a common carrier, or that common carriers right to use any or all tariffs of conferences of which it is a member.
(3) A common carrier that accepts or handles cargo for carriage under a tariff that has been suspended or after its right to utilize that tariff has been suspended is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $50,000 for each shipment.
(4) If the Commission finds, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, that a common carrier has failed to supply information ordered to be produced or compelled by subpoena under section 12 of this Act, the Commission may request that the Secretary of the Treasury refuse or revoke any clearance required for a vessel operated by that common carrier. Upon request by the Commission, the Secretary of the Treasury shall, with respect to the vessel concerned, refuse or revoke any clearance required by section 4197 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (46 U.S.C. App. 91).
(5) If, in defense of its failure to comply with a subpena or discovery order, a common carrier alleges that documents or information located in a foreign country cannot be produced because of the laws of that country, the Commission shall immediately notify the Secretary of State of the failure to comply and of the allegation relating to foreign laws. Upon receiving the notification, the Secretary of State shall promptl, y consult with the government of the nation within which the documents or information are alleged to be located for the purpose of assisting the Commission in obtaining the documents or information sought.
(6) If, after notice and hearing, the Commission finds that the action of a common carrier, acting alone or in concert with any person, or a foreign government has unduly impaired access of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States to ocean trade between foreign ports, the Commission shall take action that it finds appropriate, including the imposition of any of the penalties authorized under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection.
(7) Before an order under this subsection becomes effective, it shall be immediately submitted to the President who may, within 10 days after receiving it, disapprove the order if the President finds that disapproval is required for reasons of the nati
onal defense or the foreign policy of the United States.
(c) Assessment Procedures. Until a matter is referred to the Attorney General, the Commission may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, assess each civil penalty provided for in this Act. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Commission shall take into account the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation committed and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and such other matters as justice may require. The Commission may compromise, modify, or remit, with or without conditions, any civil penalty.
(d) Review of Civil Penalty. A person against whom a civil penalty is assessed under this section may obtain review thereof under chapter 158 of title 28, United States Code.
(e) Failure to Pay Assessment. If a person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty after it has become final or after the appropriate court has entered final judgment in favor of the Commission, the Attorney General at the request of the Commission may seek to recover the amount assessed in an appropriate district court of the United States. In such an action, the court shall enforce the Commissions order unless it finds that the order was not regularly made or duly issued.
(1) No penalty may be imposed on any person for conspiracy to violate section 10(a)(1), (b)(1), or (b)(2) of this Act, or to defraud the Commission by concealment of such a violation. Neither the Commission nor any court shall order any person to pay
the difference between the amount billed and agreed upon in writing with a common carrier or its agent and the amount set forth in any tariff or service contract by that common carrier for the transportation service provided.
(2) Each proceeding to assess a civil penalty under this section shall be commenced within 5 years from the date the violation occurred.
SEC. 14. COMMISSION ORDERS (46 App. U.S.C. 1713 (2002)).
(a) In General. Orders of the Commission relating to a violation of this Act or a regulation issued thereunder shall be made, upon sworn complaint or on its own motion, only after opportunity for hearing. Each order of the Commission shall continue in force for the period of time specified in the order or until suspended, modified, or set aside by the Commission or a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) Reversal or Suspension of Orders. The Commission may reverse, suspend, or modify any order made by it, and upon application of any party to a proceeding may grant a rehearing of the same or any matter determined therein. No rehearing may, except by special order of the Commission, operate as a stay, of that order.
(c) Enforcement of Nonreparation Orders. In case of violation of an order of the Commission, or for failure to comply with a Commission subpena, the Attorney General, at the request of the Commission, or any party injured by the violation, may seek enforcement by a United States district court having jurisdiction over the parties. If, after hearing, the court determines that the order was properly made and duly issued, it shall enforce the order by an appropriate injunction or other process, mandatory or otherwise.
(d) Enforcement of Reparation Orders.
(1) In case of violation of an order of the Commission for the payment of reparation, the person to whom the award was made may seek enforcement of the order in a United States district court having jurisdiction of the parties.
(2) In a United States district court the findings and order of the Commission shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated, and the petitioner shall not be liable for costs, nor for the costs of any subsequent stage of the proceedings, unless they accrue upon his appeal. A petitioner in a United States district court who prevails shall be allowed reasonable attorneys fees to be assessed and collected as part of the costs of the suit.
(3) All parties in whose favor the Commission has made an award of reparation by a single order may be joined as plaintiffs, and all other parties in the order may be joined as defendants, in a single suit in a district in which any one plaintiff could
maintain a suit against any one defendant. Service of process against a defendant not found in that district may be made in a district in which is located any office of, or point of call on a regular route operated by, that defendant. Judgment may be
entered in favor of any plaintiff against the defendant liable to that plaintiff.
(e) Statute of Limitations. An action seeking enforcement of a Commission order must be filed within 3 years after the date of the violation of the order.
SEC. 15. REPORTS (46 App. U.S.C. 1714 (2002)). The Commission may require any common carrier, or any officer, receiver, trustee, lessee, agent, or employee thereof, to file with it any periodical or special report or any account, record, rate, or charge, or memorandum of any facts and transactions appertaining to the business of that common carrier. The report, account, record, rate, charge, or memorandum shall be made under oath whenever the Commission so requires, and shall be furnished in the form and within the time prescribed by the Commission. Conference minutes required to be filed with the Commission under this section shall not be released to third parties or published by the Commission.
SEC. 16. EXEMPTIONS (46 App. U.S.C. 1715 (2002)). The Commission, upon application or on its own motion, may by order or rule exempt for the future any class of agreements between persons subject to this Act or any specified activity of those persons from any requirement of this Act if it finds that the exemption will not result in substantial reduction in competition or be detrimental to commerce. The Commission may attach conditions to any exemption and may, by order, revoke any exemption. No order or rule of exemption or revocation of exemption may be issued unless opportunity for hearing has been afforded interested persons and departments and agencies of the United States.
SEC. 17. REGULATIONS (46 App. U.S.C. 1716 (2002)).
(a) The Commission may prescribe rules and regulations as necessary to carry out this Act.
(b) The Commission may prescribe interim rules and regulations necessary to carry out this Act. For this purpose, the Commission is excepted from compliance with the notice and comment requirements of section 553 of title 5, United States Code. All rules and regulations prescribed under the authority of this subsection that are not earlier superseded by final rules shall expire no later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 19. OCEAN TRANSPORTATION INTERMEDIARIES (46 App. U.S.C. 1718 (2002)).
(a) License. No person in the United States may act as an ocean transportation intermediary unless that person holds a license issued by the Commission. The Commission shall issue an intermediarys license to any person that the Commission determines to be qualified by experience and character to act as an ocean transportation intermediary.
(b) Financial Responsibility.
(1) No person may act as an ocean transportation intermediary unless that person furnishes a bond, proof of insurance, or other surety in a form and amount determined by the Commission to insure financial responsibility that is issued by a surety company found acceptable by the Secretary of the Treasury.
(2) A bond, insurance, or other surety obtained pursuant to this section
(A) shall be available to pay any order for reparation issued pursuant to section 11 or 14 of this Act, or any penalty assessed pursuant to section 13 of this Act;
(B) may be available to pay any claim against an ocean transportation intermediary arising from its transportation-related activities described in section 3(17) of this Act with the consent of the insured ocean transportation intermediary and subject to review by the surety company, or when the claim is deemed valid by the surety company after the ocean transportation intermediary has failed to respond to adequate notice to address the validity of the claim; and
(C) shall be available to pay any judgement for damages against an ocean transportation intermediary arising from its transportation-related activities under section 3(17) of this Act, provided the claimant has first attempted to resolve the claim pursuant to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph and the claim has not been resolved within a reasonable period of time
(3) The Commission shall prescribe regulations for the purpose of protecting the interests of claimants, ocean transportation intermediaries, and surety companies with respect to the process of pursuing claims against ocean transportation intermediary bonds, insurance, or sureties through court judgments. The regulations shall provide that a judgment for monetary damages may not be enforced except to the extent that the damages claimed arise from the transportation-related activities of the insured ocean transportation intermediary, as defined by the Commission.
(4) An ocean transportation intermediary not domiciled in the United States shall designate a resident agent in the United States for receipt of service of judicial and administrative process, including subpoenas.
(c) Suspension or Revocation. The Commission shall, after notice and hearing, suspend or revoke a license if it finds that the ocean transportation intermediary is not qualified to render intermediary services or that it willfully failed to comply with a provision of this Act or with a lawful order, rule, or regulation of the Commission. The Commission may also revoke an intermediarys license for failure to maintain a bond, proof of insurance, or other surety in accordance with subsection (b)(1).
(d) Exception. A person whose primary business is the sale of merchandise may forward shipments of the merchandise for its own account without a license.
(e) Compensation of Intermediaries by Carriers.
(1) A common carrier may compensate an ocean transportation intermediary, as defined in section 3(17)(A) of this Act, in connection with a shipment dispatched on behalf of others only when the ocean transportation intermediary has certified in writing that it holds a valid license, as required by subsection (a), and has performed the following services:
(A) Engaged, booked, secured, reserved, or contracted directly with the carrier or its agent for space aboard a vessel or confirmed the availability of that space.
(B) Prepared and processed the ocean bill of lading, dock receipt, or other similar document with respect to the shipment.
(2) No common carrier may pay compensation for services described in paragraph (1) more than once on the same shipment.
(3) No ocean transportation intermediary may receive compensation from a common carrier with respect to a shipment in which the intermediary has a direct or indirect beneficial interest nor shall a common carrier knowingly pay compensation on that shi
(4) No conference or group of two or more ocean common carriers in the foreign commerce of the United States that is authorized to agree upon the level of compensation paid to an ocean transportation intermediary, as defined in section 3(17)(A) of this Act, may
(A) deny to any member of the conference or group the right, upon notice of not more than 5 calendar days, to take independent action on any level of compensation paid to an ocean transportation intermediary, as so defined; or
(B) agree to limit the payment of compensation to an ocean transportation intermediary, as so defined, to less than 1.25 percent of the aggregate of all rates and charges which are applicable under a tariff and which are assessed against the cargo on which the intermediary services are provided.
SEC. 20. CONTRACTS, AGREEMENTS, AND LICENSES UNDER PRIOR SHIPPING LEGISLATION (46 App. U.S.C. 1719 (2002)).
(d) Effects on Certain Agreements and Contracts. All agreements, contracts, modifications, licenses, and exemptions previously issued, approved, or effective under the Shipping Act, 1916, or the Shipping Act of 1984, shall continue in force and effect as if issued or effective under this Act, as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and all new agreements, contracts, and modifications to existing, pending, or new contracts or agreements shall be considered under this Act, as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998.
(e) Savings Provisions.4
(1) Each service contract entered into by a shipper and an ocean common carrier or conference before the date of enactment of this Act may remain in full force and effect and need not comply with the requirements of section 8(c) of this Act until 15 months after the date of enactment of this Act.
(2) This Act and the amendments made by it shall not affect any suit
(A) filed before the date of enactment of this Act, or
(B) with respect to claims arising out of conduct engaged in before the date of enactment of this Act filed within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.
(3) The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 shall not affect any suit
(A) filed before the effective date of that Act: or
(B) with respect to claims arising out of conduct engaged in before the effective date of that Act filed within one year after the effective date of that Act.
(4) Regulations issued by the Federal Maritime Commission shall remain in force and effect where not inconsistent with this Act, as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998.
Categories: USA Laws