How to Report Unfair Demurrage and Detention to the FMC for Best Results
The purpose of this page is to explain the kind of information that is helpful in order to best recuperate some of your losses in unfair demurrage and detention and in reporting unfair demurrage and detention to the FMC Fact-Finding 29.
1. In order to seek reparation for payment of unfair demurrage and detention, the litigant can file a complaint:
- Formal proceedings: Any person may file a formal complaint to allege violations of specific sections of the Shipping Act found at 46 USC Chapter 411.The complaint must be sworn and verified, and if seeking reparations, be filed within three years of the claimed violation. Formal complaints are generally heard by an Administrative Law Judge and are reviewed by the Commission.
- Small claims proceedings: For claims of $50,000 or less, an informal complaint may be filed. The complaint will be handled by a settlement officer for resolution using informal procedures (46 CFR Part 205 Subpart S).Below are the links to information on FMC’s alternate dispute resolution office, and information on filing a complaint:
2. Sending examples to the FMC under FMC Fact-Finding 29 regarding demurrage and detention must have documentary evidence in order for the FMC to consider Enforcement action. Email: FF29@fmc.gov
Sending an example to the FMC of unfair demurrage and detention does not allow to the harmed party to obtain reparation. In order to recover losses due to unfair demurrage and detention file a complaint as outlined in 1).
If an investigation occurs based on an example provided, the FMC collects Civil Penalties. Civil Penalties do not get refunded to the company filing the example.
The kind of documentary evidence that should be provided in order for the FMC to consider Enforcement action:
- Print screens of no appointments available
- An email requesting waiver of demurrage due to unable to get an appointment or closed area
- Demurrage charged when there is a government hold and terminal has not made the container available for the VACIS exam
- Invoice(s) or bill(s) issued for detention and/or demurrage
Example must identify the port/terminal and carrier(s) involved and include bill of lading number(s) or container number(s).
Please also provide a short description of the events leading to the demurrage or detention you are reporting.