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On February 26, 2024, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) released its eagerly anticipated final rule on Demurrage and Detention Billing Requirements to establish standardized billing practices within the logistics sector. This rule is slated to take effect on May 28, 2024. Below are the critical elements of the new regulation:

  • Updated Billing Party Roles: Drayage carriers are no longer considered valid billing parties for demurrage and detention charges.
  • Invoice Issuance Requirements: Each invoice must be issued directly to the consignee or the party responsible for contracting the ocean transportation or storage of cargo.
  • Timeliness of Invoice Issuance: To remain enforceable, a billing party must issue a demurrage or detention invoice within 30 calendar days from the date the charge was last incurred.
  • NVOCC Specific Requirements: Non-vessel-operating common carriers must also adhere to the 30-day rule, issuing their demurrage or detention invoices within 30 days of receiving an invoice.
  • Right to Dispute: Billing parties must provide at least 30 calendar days from the invoice issuance date for the billed parties to request a fee waiver, refund, or mitigation. These requests must be resolved within the subsequent 30 days or on a mutually agreed-upon later date.

These regulations are designed to enhance transparency, fairness, and operational efficiency across the maritime and logistics industries, ensuring a smoother process for handling demurrage and detention charges.