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Federal Maritime Commission

800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573


CHAIR Michael A. Khouri
Commissioner William P. Doyle
Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye
Commissioner Daniel B. Maffei
Commissioner Vacant

Director, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Howard F. Jimenez
Inspector General Jonathan Hatfield

Chief, Administrative Law Judge Clay G. Guthridge
Director, Bureau of Certification and Licensing Sandra L. Kusumoto
Director, Bureau of Enforcement Vacant
Director, Bureau of Trade Analysis Florence A. Carr
Director, Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services Rebecca A. Fenneman
General Counsel Tyler J. Wood
Secretary Vacant

The Federal Maritime Commission promotes an efficient, fair, and reliable system of international ocean transportation; protects the public from unfair, unlawful, and deceptive practices; and contributes to the integrity and security of the Nation's supply chain and transportation system.

Organizational Chart

The Federal Maritime Commission was established by Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1961 (46 U.S.C. 301-307), effective August 12, 1961. It is an independent agency that regulates shipping under the following statutes: the Shipping Act of 1984, as amended (46 U.S.C. 40101-41309); Section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 (46 U.S.C. 42101-42109); the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988 (46 U.S.C. 42301-42307); and the act of November 6, 1966 (46 U.S.C. 44101-44106).



The Commission reviews agreements by and among ocean common carriers and/or marine terminal operators, filed under section 5 of the Shipping Act of 1984, for statutory compliance as well as for likely impact on competition. It also monitors activities under all effective agreements for compliance with the provisions of law and its rules, orders, and regulations.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Commission reviews informal complaints and assists parties in resolving disputes. Mediation and other dispute resolution services are available to assist parties in achieving a more acceptable resolution to a dispute at less cost than may be possible in litigation. These services are available before and after the commencement of litigation. The Commission also provides an informal process to adjudicate certain complaints involving less than $50,000 in damages.


The Commission reviews alleged or suspected violations of the shipping statutes and rules and regulations of the Commission and may take administrative action to institute formal proceedings, to refer matters to other governmental agencies, or to bring about voluntary agreement between the parties.

Formal Adjudicatory Procedures

The Commission conducts formal investigations and hearings on its own motion and adjudicates formal complaints in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. note prec. 551).

International Affairs

The Commission conducts investigations of foreign governmental and carrier practices that adversely affect the U.S. shipping trade. In consultation with other executive agencies, the Commission takes action to effect the elimination of discriminatory practices on the part of foreign governments against shipping in the United States foreign trade and to achieve comity between the United States and its trading partners.

Investigation and Economic Analyses

The Commission prescribes and administers programs to ensure compliance with the provisions of the shipping statutes. These programs include: education and outreach activities; the collection of information relating to field investigation of activities and practices of ocean common carriers, terminal operators, agreements among ocean common carriers and/or marine terminal operators, ocean transportation intermediaries, passenger vessel operators, and other persons subject to the shipping statutes; and rate analyses, studies, and economic reviews of current and prospective trade conditions, including the extent and nature of competition in various trade areas.


The Commission issues licenses to those persons and entities in the United States who wish to carry out the business of providing freight forwarding services and non-vessel-operating common carrier services.

Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier Service Arrangements

The Commission receives and reviews service arrangements entered into by non-vessel-operating common carriers and their customers. Cargo moving under these service arrangements is exempt from the tariff publication and adherence requirements of the Shipping Act, on the condition that the service arrangements must be filed with the Commission.

Passenger Indemnity

The Commission administers the passenger indemnity provisions of the act of November 6, 1966, which require shipowners and operators to obtain certificates of financial responsibility to pay judgments for personal injury or death or to refund fares in the event of nonperformance of voyages.


The Commission promulgates rules and regulations to interpret, enforce, and ensure compliance with shipping and related statutes by common carriers and other persons subject to the Commission's jurisdiction.

Service Contracts

The Commission receives and reviews filings of confidential service contracts between shippers and ocean common carriers. The Commission also monitors publication of certain essential terms of those service contracts.


The Commission monitors and prescribes requirements to ensure accessibility and accuracy of electronic tariff publications of common carriers engaged in the foreign commerce of the United States. Special permission applications may be submitted for relief from statutory and/or Commission tariff requirements.

Sources of Information

Consumer Affairs / Dispute Resolution

Contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services. Phone, 202-523-5807. | Email:

Electronic Reading Room

Decisions issued from July 1987 to the present and logs of all documents filed or issued in formal proceedings are accessible online.


Contact the Office of Human Resources, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573-0001. Phone, 202-523-5773.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Commission releases a lot of information into the public domain to reduce the number of official FOIA requests. When submitting a FOIA request by email, type the words "FOIA Request" in the subject line. Mailed requests must be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission–FOIA Request, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573. Fax: 202-523-0014. | Email: | Email:

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