International Fresh Produce Association Comments on Passing of Ocean Shipping Reform Act; Robert Guenther Discusses
NEWARK, DE - On March 31, the Senate came together in a unanimous vote to pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (S. 3580) in a voice vote. The bipartisan bill is co-sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD) and will head back to the House before going on to the President.
International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) applauded the unanimous decision.
“I am glad to see the bill pass the Senate,” said IFPA Chief Public Policy Officer, Robert Guenther, in a press release. “The Ocean Shipping Reform Act is essential to our industry and the U.S. export market. We encourage our representatives to reconcile the differences with the House and get the bill to the President.”
According to the letter that was drafted on March 15 and co-signed by more than three dozen organizations representing the produce industry, the association has helped lead the effort to reform trade practices. It was sent to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The association further noted the passage of this bill would accomplish a number of reforms vital to our industry, including:
- Shifting the burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of “detention or demurrage” charges from the invoiced party to the ocean carrier
- Prohibiting ocean carriers from unreasonably declining shipping opportunities for U.S. exports, as determined by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in new required rulemaking
- Authorizing the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean common carrier’s business practices and apply enforcement measures, as appropriate
- Establishing new authority for the FMC to register shipping exchanges
To read the letter in full, click here.
Tune in for more updates and releases from our industry as we report on the latest.