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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of July 30, 2014

Title 46: Shipping


PART 550—REGULATIONS TO ADJUST OR MEET CONDITIONS UNFAVORABLE TO SHIPPING IN THE FOREIGN TRADE OF THE UNITED STATES


Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§550.101   Purpose.
§550.102   Scope.
§550.103   Definitions.
§550.104   Confidentiality.
§550.105   Consultation.

Subpart B—Production of Information

§550.201   Information orders.
§550.202   Type of information.
§550.203   Failure to provide information.

Subpart C—Conditions Unfavorable to Shipping

§550.301   Findings.

Subpart D—Petitions for Section 19 Relief

§550.401   Who may file.
§550.402   Filing of petitions.
§550.403   Contents of petitions.
§550.404   Amendment or dismissal of petitions.

Subpart E—Proceedings

§550.501   Participation of interested persons.
§550.502   Discovery.
§550.503   Subpoenas.
§550.504   Witness fees.
§550.505   Failure to supply information.
§550.506   Enforcement of orders.
§550.507   Postponement, discontinuance, or suspension of action.
§550.508   Publication, content, and effective date of regulation.

Subpart F—Corrective Actions

§550.601   Actions to correct unfavorable conditions.
§550.602   Penalty.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 553; 46 U.S.C. 301-307; sec. 19 (a)(2), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k) and (l) of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920, 46 U.S.C. 42101 and 42104-42109; and sec. 10002 of the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988, 46 U.S.C. 42301-42307.

Source: 58 FR 64910, Dec. 10, 1993, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 64 FR 8008, Feb. 18, 1999.

Note to part 550: In accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3518(c)(1)(B), and except for investigations undertaken with reference to a category of individuals or entities (e.g., an entire industry), any information requests or requirements in this part 550 are not subject to the requirements of section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act because such collections of information are pursuant to a civil, administrative action or investigation by an agency of the United States against specific individuals or entities.

Subpart A—General Provisions

§550.101   Purpose.

It is the purpose of the regulations of this part to declare certain conditions resulting from governmental actions by foreign nations or from the competitive methods or practices of owners, operators, agents, or masters of vessels of a foreign country unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States and to establish procedures by which persons who are or can reasonably expect to be adversely affected by such conditions may petition the Federal Maritime Commission for the issuance of regulations under the authority of section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (46 U.S.C. 42101-42109). It is the further purpose of the regulations of this part to afford notice of the general circumstances under which the authority granted to the Commission under section 19 may be invoked and the nature of the regulatory actions contemplated.

[58 FR 64910, Dec. 10, 1993. Redesignated at 64 FR 8008, Feb. 18, 1999, as amended at 74 FR 50732, Oct. 1, 2009]

§550.102   Scope.

Regulatory actions may be taken when the Commission finds, on its own motion or upon petition, that a foreign government has promulgated and enforced or intends to enforce laws, decrees, regulations or the like, or has engaged in or intends to engage in practices which presently have or prospectively could create conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States, or when owners, operators, agents or masters of foreign vessels engage in or intend to engage in competitive methods, pricing practices or other practices which have created or could create such conditions.

[64 FR 8009, Feb. 18, 1999]

§550.103   Definitions.

When used in this part:

(a) Act means the Merchant Marine Act, 1920, as amended by Pub. L. 101-595 and as amended by Pub. L. 105-258.

(b) Person means individuals, corporations, partnerships and associations existing under or authorized by the laws of the United States or of a foreign country, and includes any common carrier, tramp operator, bulk operator, shipper, shippers' association, importer, exporter, consignee, ocean transportation intermediary, marine terminal operator, or any component of the Government of the United States.

(c) Voyage means an inbound or outbound movement between a foreign country and the United States by a vessel engaged in the United States oceanborne trade. Each inbound or outbound movement constitutes a separate voyage.

[58 FR 64910, Dec. 10, 1993. Redesignated and amended at 64 FR 8008, 8009, Feb. 18, 1999]

§550.104   Confidentiality.

Notwithstanding any other law, the Commission may refuse to disclose to the public a response or other information provided under the terms of this part.

§550.105   Consultation.

(a) Consultation with other agencies. The Commission may consult with, seek the cooperation of, or make recommendations to other appropriate agencies prior to taking any action under this part.

(b) Request for resolution through diplomatic channels. Upon the filing of a petition, or on its own motion when there are indications that conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States may exist, the Commission may notify the Secretary of State that such conditions apparently exist, and may request that the Secretary seek resolution of the matter through diplomatic channels. If request is made, the Commission will give every assistance in such efforts, and the Commission may request the Secretary to report the results of such efforts at a specified time.

Subpart B—Production of Information

§550.201   Information orders.

In furtherance of the purposes of this part—

(a) The Commission may, by order, require any person (including any common carrier, tramp operator, bulk operator, shipper, shippers' association, ocean transportation intermediary, or marine terminal operator, or any officer, receiver, trustee, lessee, agent, or employee thereof), to file with the Commission a report, answers to questions, documentary material, or other information which the Commission considers necessary or appropriate;

(b) The Commission may require a report or answers to questions to be made under oath;

(c) The Commission may prescribe the form and the time for response to a report or answers to questions.

[58 FR 64910, Dec. 10, 1993. Redesignated and amended at 64 FR 8008, 8009, Feb. 18, 1999]

§550.202   Type of information.

In order to aid in the determination of whether conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States exist, or in order to aid in the formulation of appropriate regulations subsequent to a finding that conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States exist, the Commission may, when it deems necessary or appropriate, and without further proceedings, order any:

(a) Owner, operator, or charterer in the affected trade to furnish any or all of the following information:

(1) Statistics for a representative period showing passengers or cargo carried to and from the United States in the affected trade on vessels owned, operated or chartered by it, by type, source, value, and direction;

(2) Information for a representative period on the activities of vessels owned, operated, or chartered, which shall include sailings to and from United States ports, costs incurred, taxes or other charges paid to authorities, and subsidies or other payments received from foreign authorities;

(3) Information for a specified future period on the prospective activities of vessels which it owns, operates or charters or plans to own, operate or charter, to and from United States ports, which shall include projected sailings, anticipated costs, taxes or other charges to be paid to authorities, and expected subsidies or other payments to be received from foreign authorities; and

(4) Such other information that the Commission considers relevant to discovering or determining the existence of general or special conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States.

(b) Shipper, shippers' association, or ocean transportation intermediary in the affected trade to furnish any or all of the following information:

(1) Information for a representative period showing shipments made, type of cargo, commodity, carrier and vessel on which shipment was made, including furnishing copies of bills of lading and other shipping documents;

(2) Information relating to the application for, grant of, or securing of waivers or other exemption from requirements imposed by foreign governments that cargo move on national-flag, conference, or non-conference vessels;

(3) Amount of brokerage, ocean transportation intermediary compensation or other charges collected or paid in connection with shipments in the affected trade; and

(4) such other information that the Commission considers relevant to discovering or determining the existence of general or special conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States.

(c) Any marine terminal operator to furnish any or all of the following information:

(1) Marine terminal facilities agreements, whether or not on file with the Commission, into which it has entered with any ocean carrier in the affected trade;

(2) Information for a representative period showing the difference between the rates agreed to for use of its facilities by any ocean carrier serving the affected trade pursuant to an agreement authorizing preferential treatment or lease terms and those rates which would otherwise have applied to such services or leases.

[58 FR 64910, Dec. 10, 1993. Redesignated and amended at 64 FR 8008, 8009, Feb. 18, 1999]

§550.203   Failure to provide information.

(a) A person who fails to file a report, answer, documentary material, or other information required under this subpart shall be liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each day that the information is not provided.

(b) The Commission may, when there is a failure to produce any information ordered produced under §550.201, make appropriate findings of fact and inferences, including the inference that conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States do exist.

[58 FR 64910, Dec. 10, 1993. Redesignated at 64 FR 8008, Feb. 18, 1999, and amended at 67 FR 39861, June 11, 2002]

Subpart C—Conditions Unfavorable to Shipping

§550.301   Findings.

For the purposes of this part, conditions created by foreign governmental action or competitive methods, pricing practices or other practices of owners, operators, agents or masters of foreign vessels are found unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States, if such conditions:

(a) Impose upon vessels in the foreign trade of the United States fees, charges, requirements, or restrictions different from those imposed on other vessels competing in the trade, or preclude vessels in the foreign trade of the United States from competing in the trade on the same basis as any other vessel;

(b) Reserve substantial cargoes to the national flag or other vessels and fail to provide, on reasonable terms, for effective and equal access to such cargo by vessels in the foreign trade of the United States;

(c) Are discriminatory or unfair as between carriers, shippers, exporters, importers, or ports or between exporters from the United States and their foreign competitors and which cannot be justified under generally accepted international agreements or practices and which operate to the detriment of the foreign commerce or the public interest of the United States;

(d) Restrict or burden a carrier's intermodal movements or shore-based maritime activities, including terminal operations and cargo solicitation; agency services; ocean transportation intermediary services and operations; or other activities and services integral to transportation systems; or

(e) Are otherwise unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States.

[58 FR 64910, Dec. 10, 1993. Redesignated and amended at 64 FR 8008, 8009, Feb. 18, 1999]

Subpart D—Petitions for Section 19 Relief

§550.401   Who may file.

Any person who has been harmed by, or who can reasonably expect harm from, existing or impending conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States, may file a petition for relief under the provisions of this part.

§550.402   Filing of petitions.

All requests for relief from conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade shall be by written petition. An original and fifteen copies of a petition for relief under the provisions of this part shall be filed with the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573. The petition shall be accompanied by remittance of a $241 filing fee.

[70 FR 10331, Mar. 3, 2005]

§550.403   Contents of petitions.

Petitions for relief from conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States shall set forth the following:

(a) A concise description and citation of the foreign law, rule, regulation, practice or competitive method complained of;

(b) A certified copy of any law, rule, regulation or other document involved and, if not in English, a certified English translation thereof;

(c) Any other evidence of the existence of such practice or competitive method;

(d) A clear description, in detail, of the harm already caused or which may reasonably be expected to be caused petitioner, including:

(1) Statistics for the representative period showing the type and amount of revenue loss or operating cost increase suffered or projected, such as a present or prospective cargo loss if harm is alleged on that basis. Such statistics shall include figures which permit comparison or computation of the proportional effect of the harm alleged. For example, when the harm alleged is loss of cargo, supporting evidence shall include the total cargo carried or projected in the trade for the period;

(2) Statistics or other evidence for the representative period showing increased costs, inferior services or other harm to cargo or other non-vessel interest if injury is claimed on that basis; and

(3) A statement as to why the period is representative.

(e) A recommended regulation, the promulgation of which will, in the view of the petitioner, adjust or meet the alleged conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States.

§550.404   Amendment or dismissal of petitions.

Upon the failure of a petitioner to comply with the provisions of this part, the petitioner will be notified by the Secretary and afforded reasonable opportunity to amend its petition. Failure to timely amend the petition may result in its dismissal. For good cause shown additional time for amendment may be granted.

Subpart E—Proceedings

§550.501   Participation of interested persons.

In the event that participation of interested persons is deemed necessary by the Commission, notice will be published in the Federal Register and interested persons will then be allowed to participate in this proceeding by the submission of written data, views or arguments, with or without opportunity to present same orally.

§550.502   Discovery.

The Commission may authorize a party to a proceeding to use depositions, written interrogatories, and discovery procedures that, to the extent practicable, are in conformity with the rules applicable in civil proceedings in the district courts of the United States.

§550.503   Subpoenas.

In proceedings under this part, the Commission may by subpoena compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, documents, and other evidence.

§550.504   Witness fees.

In proceedings under this subpart, witnesses are, unless otherwise prohibited by law, entitled to the same fees and mileage as in the courts of the United States, subject to funds being provided by appropriations Acts.

§550.505   Failure to supply information.

For failure to supply information ordered to be produced or compelled by subpoena in proceedings under this part, the Commission may—

(a) After notice and an opportunity for hearing, suspend tariffs of a common carrier or that common carrier's right to use the tariffs of conferences of which it is a member; or

(b) Assess a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each day that the information is not provided.

§550.506   Enforcement of orders.

In proceedings under this part, when a person violates an order of the Commission or fails to comply with a subpoena, the Commission may seek enforcement by a United States district court having jurisdiction over the parties.

§550.507   Postponement, discontinuance, or suspension of action.

The Commission may, on its own motion or upon petition, postpone, discontinue, or suspend any and all actions taken by it under the provisions of this part. The Commission shall postpone, discontinue or suspend any or all such actions if the President informs the Commission that postponement, discontinuance or suspension is required for reasons of foreign policy or national security.

§550.508   Publication, content, and effective date of regulation.

The Commission shall incorporate in any regulations adopted under the rules of this part a concise statement of their basis and purpose. Regulations shall be published in the Federal Register. Except where conditions warrant and for good cause, regulations promulgated under the rules of this part shall not become effective until at least 30 days after the date of publication.

Subpart F—Corrective Actions

§550.601   Actions to correct unfavorable conditions.

Upon submission of a petition filed under the rules of this part, or upon its own motion, the Commission may find that conditions unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States do exist, and may, without further proceedings, issue regulations which may:

(a) Impose equalizing fees or charges;

(b) Limit sailings to and from United States ports or the amount or type of cargo carried;

(c) Suspend, in whole or in part, tariffs and service contracts for carriage to or from United States ports, including a common carrier's right to use tariffs of conferences and service contracts of agreements in United States trades of which it is a member for any period the Commission specifies;

(d) Suspend, in whole or in part, an ocean common carrier's right to operate under an agreement, including any agreement authorizing preferential treatment at terminals or preferential terminal leases, whether filed with the Commission or not filed with the Commission pursuant to the exemptions granted in 46 CFR Part 535; or any agreement filed with the Commission authorizing space chartering, or pooling of cargo or revenues with other ocean common carriers;

(e) Impose a fee, not to exceed $1,000,000 per voyage;

(f) Request the collector of customs at the port or place of destination in the United States to refuse the clearance required by section 4197 of the Revised Statutes (46 U.S.C. 60105), to a vessel of a foreign carrier which is or whose government is identified as contributing to the unfavorable conditions described in subpart C;

(g) Request the collector of customs at the port or place of destination in the United States to collect any fees imposed by the Commission under paragraph (e) of this section;

(h) Request the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to deny entry, for purposes of oceanborne trade, of any vessel of a foreign carrier which is or whose government is identified as contributing to the unfavorable conditions described in subpart C, to any port or place in the United States or the navigable waters of the United States, or to detain any such vessel at the port or place in the United States from which it is about to depart for any other port or place in the United States; or

(i) Take any other action the Commission finds necessary and appropriate to adjust or meet any condition unfavorable to shipping in the foreign trade of the United States.

[58 FR 64910, Dec. 10, 1993. Redesignated and amended at 64 FR 8008, 8009, Feb. 18, 1999; 67 FR 39861, June 11, 2002; 74 FR 50733, Oct. 1, 2009]

§550.602   Penalty.

A common carrier that accepts or handles cargo for carriage under a tariff or service contract that has been suspended under §550.505 or §550.601 of this part, or after its right to use another tariff or service contract has been suspended under those sections, is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $50,000 for each day that it is found to be operating under a suspended tariff or service contract.

[64 FR 8009, Feb. 18, 1999]



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