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CMA CGM seeks tariff publication relief from FMC post-cyberattack

CMA CGM asks U.S. maritime regulator for temporary tariff publication and service contract filing relief after cyberattack. (Photo: CMA CGM)

French ocean container carrier CMA CGM has “urgently” petitioned the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to temporarily exempt it from meeting certain tariff publication and service contract filing requirements while it continues to clean up its systems from a recent cyberattack.

The carrier asked the FMC to use its authority under the Shipping Act to institute the exemption for a period of 60 days, starting on Sept. 27, when it was struck by the ransomware attack.

CMA CGM said the cyberattack has impacted its ability to publish tariff rates and rules, as well as file service contracts and amendments, which is required under the Shipping Act, in a timely manner.

“Granting this petition will allow the CMA Group to apply service contract rates agreed upon with customers and tariff terms offered to customers for shipments received before filing or publication can be accomplished, rather than requiring customers to pay higher rates due to the CMA Group’s inability to conduct timely service contract filings or tariff publications,” the carrier said in its four-page petition.

CMA CGM cited that subsidiary APL has been unable to publish new rates and prevented from amending existing rules. APL, for example, could not revise its general rate increase effective data from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1 due to its lack of access to its tariff system.

CMA CGM and ANL use a third-party tariff publisher that was not subject to the cyberattack. However, the two operations are unable to access quotes that have been submitted to customers to convert them into tariff line items for current bookings.

“In the absence of relief, customers who book against their quotes will be invoiced at higher NOS rates because the quotes will not be converted to tariff line items prior to cargo receipt,” the carrier warned.

The FMC is considering CMA CGM’s petition and will accept public comments on the request through Thursday. Comments should be sent by email to [email protected]

“The CMA Group is leveraging currently functional systems to track its commitments to customers and minimize any negative impacts on customers from this cyberattack,” the carrier said in its petition. “The flexibility to publish and file those commitments as soon as practicable is crucial to reducing potential burdens on customers.”

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Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Chris Gillis.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.