The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) received a briefing on proposed regulations by the government of Canada that could disproportionately affect U.S.-flag ships operating on the Great Lakes. Under U.S. law, the FMC may investigate unfair or discriminatory trade practices that adversely affect U.S.-flag shipping. The press release by the FMC is as follows:
Commission Briefed on Canadian Ballast Water Regulations
The Federal Maritime Commission met Thursday, December 12, 2019, for a non-public collaborative discussion to receive a briefing concerning proposed Canadian ballast water regulations that, if enacted, might adversely impact U.S. flag Great Lakes ship operators.
Topics covered during the meeting were: the origin of the Canadian regulation; the inter-agency response of the U.S. Government to the regulation; and authorities the FMC, as an independent regulatory and enforcement agency, has to investigate and respond to inequitable shipping and market access policies of other nations.
The Foreign Shipping Practices Act and Section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 provide the Commission authority to investigate and sanction discriminatory conditions caused by rules, regulations, or laws of a foreign government.
"As an Indiana native, I am looking forward to doing everything we can to ensure that our U.S. fleet is able to continue operating on the Great Lakes. This briefing was important and informative as we examine new regulations which could adversely and disproportionately, impact the U.S. fleet," said Commissioner Sola.
"Coming from the Great Lakes region, I understand particularly well how vital our U.S. Laker fleet is to the region's economy and to U.S. industry. As our Commission has the responsibility to ensure all of our shipping is treated equally, we will continue to monitor developments of these Canadian regulations," said Commissioner Maffei.
The meeting was held pursuant to the authority and requirements of 46 U.S.C. Sec. 303.