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June 14, 2022

Ocean Shipping Reform Act Approved by Congress, Ready for President Joe Biden’s Signature

On June 13, the U.S. House passed S. 3580, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act with overwhelming bipartisan support. This bill – which passed earlier this year with bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate – will crack down on unreasonable practices by container shipping lines, bolster U.S. enforcement against uncompetitive carrier practices and improve transparency for exporters.

Western Growers has proactively supported OSRA throughout its progression in the House and Senate. Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia issued the following statement:

“Western Growers is very pleased to see Congress pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which will help ensure fairer shipping practices and standards for our agricultural exports. The ongoing supply chain and port challenges are restricting our farmers’ ability to reach overseas opportunities. This bill provides much-needed improvements to the maritime shipping environment, which has increasingly become too unpredictable and costly for our exporters to remain competitive. We remain committed to pushing back against unreasonable rejections and other actions that are harmful to our shippers.

I appreciate the bipartisan efforts in both chambers to move this bill forward. WG especially applauds the efforts of Reps. John Garamendi and Dusty Johnson, who were instrumental in setting this important legislation in motion and have been unwavering in their support of our farmers.

I look forward to swift enactment of the bill, as well as immediate and strong action by the Federal Maritime Commission to wield its new authorities on behalf of U.S. exporters.”

Since Fall 2020, U.S. agricultural exporters have faced extreme challenges getting their products onto ships and out to foreign buyers, including record-breaking congestion and delays at ports, shipping lines’ persistent failure to provide accurate notice of arrival/departure and cargo loading times, excessive financial penalties and other fees, as well as skyrocketing freight rate costs.