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NMPF Secures OSRA Passage, Looks to Next Steps

July 6, 2022

President and CEO Jim Mulhern participated in a White House ceremony on June 16 to celebrate President Biden’s signing of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA).

The new law comes after more than a year’s worth of intense effort and has been among NMPF’s highest priorities, bolstered through its partnership with the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and a joint member export supply chain working group. The organizations helped to build an influential coalition of agricultural and transportation allies, crafting a bipartisan group of congressional supporters and educating the administration about dairy’s export supply chain crisis.

OSRA directs the Federal Maritime Commission to craft regulations that prohibit ocean carriers from “unreasonably” declining shipping opportunities for U.S. exports and requires certification of detention and demurrage fees that have been incurred outside of U.S. exporters’ control. The commission must also craft regulations that bar retaliation against U.S. shippers. To learn more about additional OSRA protections and the FMC’s pivotal role, see NMPF’s Member Alert here.

OSRA’s passage shifts NMPF’s and USDEC’s focus to the next, equally critical step of ensuring the legislation is swiftly implemented and that the maritime commission develops strong rules to crack down on carrier misbehavior. NMPF and USDEC will be heavily engaged in rulemaking processes and will continue to push for robust congressional oversight of the implementation phase.

NMPF and USDEC is also continuing work with allied groups to address delays, congestion, equipment and labor shortages, major gaps in data, high costs and other issues hampering U.S. exports. As part of those ongoing efforts, NMPF’s Executive Vice President for Policy Development and Strategy Jaime Castaneda participated in the Agriculture Transportation Coalition’s 34th Annual Meeting in June, taking part in the members-only strategy session on agricultural export priorities to identify additional steps in resolving the ongoing crisis.