The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) recently issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The FMC is seeking comments on whether it should require common carriers and marine terminal operators to include certain minimum information with demurrage and detention billings. 

Additionally, the FMC is looking for comments on whether it should require common carriers and marine terminal operators to adhere to certain practices regarding the timing of demurrage and detention billings. The Fact Finding Officer in Commission Fact Finding 29: International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement recommended these changes.  

In your comments, note the impact demurrage and detention billing has had on you and your customers. Additionally, a higher number of comments will increase the chance of rule changes. Therefore, the industry will finally see some much overdue relief from challenges related to demurrage and detention billing.

How to submit comments

You must submit comments on or before March 17, 2022 via email to Additionally, attach your comments to the email as a Microsoft Word or text-searchable PDF document. Lastly, send you email with the below subject line.

“Docket No. 22-04, Comments on Demurrage and Detention Billing Requirements ANPRM.”

Also, send only non-confidential and public versions of confidential comments via email. You can read the FMC ANPRM for more detailed instructions on submitting comments and requesting confidentiality.

There is a formal list of the questions on page 10 of the FMC ANPRM. Lastly, please clearly identify each question you are responding to and explain your responses to each question.

Demurrage and detention questions from the FMC


  1. Should the Commission include both VOCCs and NVOCCs in a proposed regulation on demurrage and detention billing? 
  2. Shall the Commission include MTOs in a proposed demurrage billing regulation? 
  3. Should a proposed demurrage billing regulation distinguish between the demurrage MTOs charge to shippers and the demurrage MTOs charge to VOCCs? Additionally, should the Commission regulate the format in which MTOs bill VOCCs? 
  4. What percentage of demurrage and detention bills contain inaccurate information? Additionally, which information is most often disputed? 
  5. How much does the type of information included on or with demurrage and detention billings vary among common carriers, among marine terminal operators, and between VOCCs and NVOCCs? 

Minimum billing information

  1. What type of information should be required on billings? Additionally, should the Commission require certain essential information included on invoices such as:
    • Bill of lading number
    • Container number
    • Billing date
    • Payment due date
    • Start/end of free time
    • Start/end of demurrage/detention/per diem clock
    • Demurrage/detention/per diem rate schedule 
    • Location of the notice of the charge (i.e.., tariff, service contract number and section or MTO schedule) 
    • For import shipments: 
      • Vessel arrival date 
      • Container availability date 
    • For export shipments: 
      • Earliest return date, including identifying any modifications to the earliest return date.
    • Any intervening clock-stopping events, for example: 
      • Unavailability of container 
      • Lack of pickup or return locations 
      • Unavailability of appointments (where applicable) 
      • Restrictions on chassis accepted 
      • Force majeure-related events 
    • Please note if any portion of the charge is a pass-through of charges levied by the MTO or Port. 

Billing practices 

  1. What information or timeframes should be required for VOCC and NVOCC demurrage and detention bills? Additionally, should the Commission require different types of information or timeframes? 
  2. Do common carriers invoice multiple parties for demurrage and/or detention charges? If multiple parties are invoiced, should the billing party be required to identify all such parties receiving an invoice for the charges at issue? 
  3. Should the billing party be required to identify the basis of why the invoiced party is the proper party in interest and therefore liable for the charges? 
  4. Should the Commission require MTOs to bill demurrage directly to shippers (rather than billing VOCCs who then bill shippers)? 
  5. How long from the point of accrual of a demurrage or detention charge does it typically take to receive a demurrage or detention invoice or billing? 
  6. Should the Commission require demurrage and detention invoices to be issued within 60 days of date when the detention/demurrage/per diem stops accruing? 
  7. Should the Commission require specific information be included on the invoice regarding how to dispute a charge? If so, what information should be required? (i.e. should the Commission require invoices to include contact information for disputing charges, identify circumstances for when a charge may be waived, or identify the billing parties’ evidentiary requirements sufficient to support a waiver of the charges? 
  8. How long from the point of dismissal of a charge does it typically take to receive a refund? Should the Commission require that refunds of demurrage or detention bills be issued within a certain time period and what should that timeframe be? 
  9. How would a regulation on demurrage and detention billing requirements impact, conflict with, or preempt any other applicable laws, regulations, or arrangements (such as UIIA)? 
  10. Provide any other views or data you believe would help inform the Commission’s decision.

About O’Neill Logistics

O’Neill Logistics is a leading 3PL with operations in Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Savannah, GA; and Newark/Monroe, NJ. We service many verticals including Garments, Fashion Accessories, Footwear, Furniture, Home Goods, & Electronics. Additionally, we offer omni-channel distribution and all value-added services. Lastly, we focus on retail “drop shipment” fulfillment and item-level fulfillment services with same-day service offerings.

O’Neill Logistics has over 2 million square feet of state-of-the-art facilities. Additionally, we offer dray services to support the warehouses and provide distribution to retailers and wholesalers. Our reliable 3PL platform combines sophisticated technology with robust, flexible processing designs and speed-to-market gateway models.

Lastly, we aim to simplify your supply chain by delivering exceptional service and optimizing your operational performance. Therefore, we aim to build, protect and foster strong business partnerships.