Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. international ocean transportation system for the benefit of U.S. exporters, importers, and the U.S. consumer.

The FMC ensures competitive and efficient ocean transportation services for the shipping public by:

Reviewing and monitoring agreements among ocean common carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) serving the U.S. foreign oceanbornetrades to ensure that they do not cause substantial increases in transportation costs or decreases in transportation services

Maintaining and reviewing confidentially filed service contracts and Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) Service Arrangements to guard against detrimental effects to shipping

Providing a forum for exporters, importers, and other members of the shipping public to obtain relief from ocean shipping practices or disputes that impede the flow of

Ensuring common carriers’ tariff rates and charges are published in private, automated tariff systems and electronically available

Monitoring rates, charges, and rules of government-owned or –controlled carriers to ensure they are just and reasonable

Taking action to address unfavorable conditions caused by foreign government or business practices in U.S. foreign shipping trades

The FMC protects the public from financial harm, and contributes to the integrity and security of the U.S. supply chain and transportation system by:

Helping resolve disputes involving shipment of cargo, personal or household goods, or disputes between cruise vessel operators and passengers

Investigating and ruling on complaints regarding rates, charges, classifications, and practices of common carriers, MTOs, and Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs), that violate the Shipping Act

Licensing shipping companies with appropriate character and adequate financial responsibility

Identifying and holding regulated entities accountable for mislabeling cargo shipped to or from the United States

Ensuring that cruise lines maintain financial responsibility to pay claims for personal injury or death, and to reimburse passengers when their cruise fails to sail