House Passes Ocean Shipping Reform Act (HR 4996)

This past week the US House of Representatives passed HR 4996, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.  This bill, authored by Congressman John Garamendi and Congressman Dusty Johnson, is intended to ensure carriers accept US cargo exports when they bring imports to the United States.   Ag exporters have been hammered by millions of dollars in excessive detention and demurrage fees, not to mention millions in lost sales due to the inability to get our products to the proper marketplace in a time manner.  Pushed by the Ag Transportation Coalition (AgTC) of which the Association is a member, it is hoped this legislation will reinvigorate ag exports, reign in the excessive charges that we have no control over, and establish more regulation over the shipping companies now controlling our destiny.  All California Congressional representatives but two voted in favor of the bill including all representatives in agricultural areas (Costa, Harder, LaMalfa, Panetta, McCarthy, Garamendi (author) and Valadao).