|Shipping regulation should be
reviewed with an eye towards examining whether ocean carriers should
continue to enjoy antitrust immunity, the Maritime and Coast Guard
Subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
was told Thursday.|
"We believe that Congress should
conduct a comprehensive review of the Shipping Act. The international
liner business has changed substantially in last 10 years, in part driven
by the shipping act reforms of the 1980s and 1990s," said Michael Berzon,
chairman of the ocean transportation committee of the National Industrial
The hearing focused on management of the Federal
Maritime Commission and regulation of international shipping. It followed
one held in April where some committee members were critical of management
of the commission. On Thursday the three commissioners described steps
they have taken to improve morale and management of workers at the agency,
and Congress asked for a further update in three months.
But the hearing focused largely on broader issues about liner shipping
regulation under the Shipping Act of 1984 as revised by the Ocean Shipping
Reform Act of 1998.
Elijah E. Cummings, chairman of the
subcommittee, noted the European Union in October will eliminate its
so-called "block immunity" for ocean carriers and as a result they will no
longer be able to collude in the establishment of tariffs.
That change "will give European companies a distinct advantage over their
U.S. counterparts," said Berzon, a former DuPont executive who is now
president of the consulting firm Mar-Log Inc.
Antitrust Modernization Commission told Congress last year that the
antitrust immunity afforded liner carriers has outlived any utility and
should be appealed," he added.
Peter Friedmann, executive director of the
Agriculture Transportation Coalition, questioned whether regulation was
meeting the goals stated in the Shipping Act: stimulate exports, support
the U.S. merchant marine, and to be consistent with international shipping
Instead, he contends that U.S. regulation is
undermining exports, has not reversed the decline of the U.S.-flag liner
fleet, and will, as of October, be inconsistent with regulation by the
Friedman complained that carriers are
failing to give agriculture shippers the capacity they need to ship their
They "could be exporting 20 percent to 30
percent more depending on sector, particularly poultry if there was more
shipping capacity out of this country."
He contended it
was a problem facing shippers trying to move containerized cargo out U.S.
and Canadian ports on all coasts.
He also said he did not
believe the problems agricultural exporters were facing was a "temporary
blip" attributable to the weak dollar, saying that demand for U.S. food is
growing because of increased wealth in the Asia and developing
But Stanley Sher, acting president of the World
Shipping Council, a group that represents the liner shipping industry,
said it was a "very unusual situation" that has developed in recent months
with export capacity on liner services leaving the United States becoming
tight for the first time in a decade.
|Sher| He told members of Congress that
their objectives when they passed OSRA have been achieved, and the major
beneficiaries being U.S. exporters who have been able to ship cargo on
days notice at extremely low rates -- rates that for most exports were
lower at the end of 2007 than they were seven years ago.
Sher also told Congress that while the EU is eliminating antitrust
immunity for carriers, most other countries in the world will grant some
sort of antitrust immunity.
While the debate over shipping
regulation has been going on for years, there has been a lack of facts on
what would happen if regulation was eliminated. He suggested the country
should wait to see what the European experience is before taking
"We've never had an opportunity to say what does
it look like when you don't have this system.' In Europe we now have that
opportunity," he said.
"Let's get the facts and then take
a look at the system and see how it has worked in Europe," he said. "If it
hasn't worked and there are problems we can learn from it, We don't have
to learn on the job ourselves. It turns out that there are benefits, we
are perfectly prepared to look at it. Our point is that the system works,
works well now and it seems to us that the one changing should have the
FMC Commissioner Harold J. Creel Jr. agreed that
the European will provide a good "case study" for review of shipping
regulation, though he cautioned Congress that European regulation was
"extremely anticompetitive" because it gave carriers full immunity with no
government oversight in contrast to the United States where the industry
is regulated by the FMC.
While it had been a decade since
shipping regulation was changed, he said the OSRA reforms have "worked
better than anyone ever imagined. He urged Congress not to "throw the baby
out with the bathwater."
Creel also noted that much of the
FMC's focus is now on port operations, such as its review of the Los
Angeles-Long Beach clean trucks project. The exponential growth in trade
is likely to make that role more important in the future, he
Win Froelich, general counsel of the National
Association of Waterfront Employers, said that if Congress is going to
review antitrust immunity, then review of immunity for ocean carriers
should be separate from review of immunity for terminal operators
represented by his organization.
operators, he noted, are increasingly asked to solve public policy problem
not directly within their control, and need to collaborate. He pointed to
successful efforts to increase the use of terminals at night in Los
Angeles and Long Beach -- without antitrust immunity, he said that change
never would have occurred. Chris
United States of America in Congress
assembled, <<NOTE: Ocean Shipping. Reform
Act of 1998. ... (3) The Ocean Shipping
Reform Act of 1998 shall not affect. any suit
- 125k - Cached
... IMPACT OF THE OCEAN
SHIPPING. REFORM ACT OF 1998. FEDERAL MARITIME
... It now has been two years since the implementation of the
Ocean Shipping Reform Act of
The Ocean Shipping
Reform Act of 1998 modifying The Shipping
Act of 1984. Section 2. ... This Act and the
Shipping Act, 1916, do does not apply to maritime
...www.dartmaritime.com/Ocean Shipping Reform
Act of 1998.html - 145k -
OCEAN SHIPPING REFORM
ACT OF 1998. 112 STAT. 1902. PUBLIC LAW 105258OCT. 14, 1998
... (3) The Ocean Shipping Reform Act
of 1998 shall not. affect any suit ...www.admiraltylawguide.com/documents/ osra98.pdf
... under this Act, as
amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of
1998, and ... (3) The Ocean Shipping Reform
Act of 1998 shall not affect any suit_
104k - Cached
amended by the Ocean
Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and all new
agreements, ... Act. (3) The Ocean Shipping
Reform Act of 1998 shall not affect any suit
The Shipping Act of 1984 as
Modified by The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of
1998 ... as Modified by The Ocean Shipping
Reform Act of 1998 (S. 414, Senate floor
06/2000 "The Ocean Shipping
Reform Act of 1998." Credit Card Req'd - Free Trial.
Academic Journal Articles, Magazine Articles, Newspaper Archives and
ANTITRUST ASPECTS OF THE OCEAN
SHIPPING REFORM ACT OF 1998. WEDNESDAY, MAY
... The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of
1998, or OSRA, which became effective just last
- 451k - Cached
OCEAN SHIPPING REFORM
ACT (10690) HEARING. BEFORE THE. SUBCOMMITTEE ON ...
Industrial Transportation League, Ocean Shipping
Reform Act Response Survey ...commdocs.house.gov/committees/trans/ hpw106-90.000/hpw106-90_0.HTM
REFORM ACT OF 1998. OVERHAULS TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. FOR
U.S. EXPORTS AND IMPORTS ... passed and the President signed
the Ocean Shipping Reform
... in the context of the
Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, the
Antitrust Division ... began work on what would become the
Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998.
... See "Bill of Lading."
Ocean Shipping Reform Act (1999) (OSRA )
... OSRA - See "Ocean Shipping Reform
Act." Outboard. Outside the perimeter of the vessel's hull.
amended by the Ocean
Shipping Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-258, 112
Stat. 1902 (1998) ... "Shipping Act"), as amended
by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of
... BY THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
OCEAN. SHIPPING REFORM ACT OF 1998 (OSRA)
... implementing changes mandated by the Ocean
Shipping Reform Act of 1998 (OSRA)
... antitrust exemption for
ocean carriers from the Shipping Act of 1984. The
... Next came the Ocean Shipping Reform
Act of 1998. The 1998 Act took some notable
However, when the Ocean
Shipping Reform Act took effect last May, rate
... OCEAN SHIPPING REFORM ACT.
4/99. For forwarders and nvoccs, the big changes are as follows:
Abstract Enactment of the Ocean
Shipping Reform Act of 1998 in the United States,
... NVO'S AND THE OCEAN SHIPPING REFORM
ACT OF 1998 ...www.allbusiness.com/operations/shipping/ 715432-1.html
- 103k - Cached
... Shipping Reform
Act ... ocean shipping industry began with
the Shipping Act of ... an Advisory Commission on
Conferences in Ocean Shipping (the
... the implementation of the
1998 Ocean Shipping Reform Act. ...
framework of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act
and the antitrust rules of the Justice Department.