The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has approved a bill that would allow the formation of a committee of American shippers to advise the Federal Maritime Commission on policies related to competitiveness, reliability, integrity and fairness in ocean shipping.
FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye proposed the FMC National Shipper Advisory Committee two years ago when the agency was analyzing persistent ocean shipping bottlenecks due to systemic port congestion throughout the U.S.
Under the 2019 FMC Commission Shipper Advisory Committee Act (S. 2894), the commission will appoint a committee of 24 industry members, split evenly between importers and exporters. Those individuals will be presented to the FMC via nomination.
Committee members’ terms would expire Dec. 31 of the third year after the date of appointment.
The advisory committee would elect a chairman and vice chairman, with the chairman authorized to establish subcommittees and working groups.
The Senate legislation calls for the FMC National Shipper Advisory Committee to remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2029.
“I am pleased that my legislation to establish a National Shipper Advisory Committee at the FMC is headed to the full Senate for consideration,” said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, in a statement on Wednesday.
It is not uncommon for federal government agencies involved in trade to have industry advisory committees. Customs and Border Protection has long relied on trade enforcement and facilitation input from the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC).