The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has reorganised its investigative and prosecution functions by creating a new Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations, and Compliance (BEIC).
The change was announced on 29 July, effective immediately.
The new BEIC will be headed by an attorney in the Senior Executive Service with regulatory, prosecutorial, and investigatory experience.
According to the official statement, the Commission’s Managing Director, Lucille M. Marvin, will serve as Acting Director until a permanent Director is hired.
The news follows the recent announcement that FMC was actively moving ahead to fulfil the requirements of the new Ocean Shipping Reform Act 2022 (OSRA).
“Robust enforcement of the Shipping Act is absolutely key to the effectiveness of the Federal Maritime Commission,” said Chairman Daniel B. Maffei.
“This reorganisation has the support of all five Commissioners and creates a structure better suited to meeting the mandate the President and Congress have given this agency to prioritise enforcement.
“Specifically, it enhances FMC’s capacity to closely scrutinise the conduct of the ocean carrier companies and marine terminal operators to ensure compliance with the law and fairness for American importers and exporters.”
The BEIC will be divided into three sections: the Office of Enforcement, the Office of Investigations, and the Office of Compliance.
FMC said the reorganisation was initiated following an internal examination undertaken to identify how to increase the effectiveness of Commission enforcement and compliance activities.
The review determined a restructuring and merging of enforcement and compliance programmes would result in a more efficient, coordinated, and responsive operation.
As part of the reorganisation, the Commission will also increase the number of investigators in its staff.
The OSRA was first discussed to intervene on the disrupted global supply chain. Together with an increase in consumer demand, the COVID-19 pandemic massively contributed to boosting carriers’ operating profits.
On 16 June, President Joe Biden signed the OSRA into law granting special powers to the FMC’s investigatory authority to help control inflation and ease congestion across the supply chain.