FMC adjusts container shipping violation penalties

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has raised its civil penalty amounts for violations of the Shipping Act and other maritime laws that the agency enforces, effective Wednesday.

The FMC, as required by the 2015 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act, must adjust its maximum civil penalty amounts on an annual basis to reflect inflation.

The agency, for example, raised its maximum civil penalty amount per violation for “adverse impact” on U.S. carriers by foreign shipping practices under the 1984 Shipping Act from $2,103,861 to $2,140,973.

Adverse shipping conditions caused by ocean container carriers under the 1920 Merchant Marine Act may now result in a maximum civil penalty of $1,927,676, compared to $1,894,261 in 2019.

Under the 1984 Shipping Act, the FMC can now assess a maximum civil penalty of $122,197 for operating in foreign container trades after a tariff suspension, compared to $120,079 in 2019.

The new maximum penalty for operating after a tariff or service contract suspension under the 1920 Merchant Marine Act has increased from a maximum of $94,713 per violation in 2019 to $96,384 for this year.

A complete list of the FMC’s newly adjusted civil penalty amounts is available here.