October 4, 2004
Volume 8, Number 10
Oakland, California

SIGNALS™ provides detailed information on the regulations and activities of the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and related developments in the ocean freight industry. For past issues, please consult our index.

 Petition No. P5-04: APL Files for Exemptions from Controlled Carrier Regulations

America President Line, Ltd. and APL Co. Pte. Ltd. filed a petition with the FMC requesting exemption from US Shipping Act regulations that require controlled carriers to file new or reduced rates in their tariffs on 30 days notice. APL is not currently classified as a controlled carrier, but anticipates the FMC will soon take this step. Singapore's state owned investment company, Temasek Holding, is in the process of increasing its shareholding in APL parent company, Neptune Orient Lines, to gain majority control. NOL was originally started as Singapore's national shipping line in 1968, and it acquired US-based APL in 1997. Temasek launched an unsolicited bid in August to purchase outstanding shares of NOL, and by Sept. 30 it had increased its stake in the company from under 30 percent to 68.64 percent. Temasek controls seven of Singapore's ten largest public companies, including Singapore Airlines.

The FMC granted similar petitions earlier this year in April to three major Chinese controlled carriers. China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), China Shipping Container Lines Co., Ltd., and SINOTRANS Container Lines Co., Ltd. are now exempt from the 30 day notice requirement for new and reduced rates, as required of controlled carriers by Section 9 of the Shipping Act, but the carriers still must file all tariff amendments that increase costs to shippers 30 days in advance. APL's Petition P5-04 was filed Sept. 23, 2004.Comments are due by October 12, 2004.

 FMC Still Experiencing SERVCON System Troubles

Users of the FMC's Service Contract Filing System (SERVCON) have recently experienced problems filing new and amended service contracts due to systems problems. In a recent notice the FMC advises users who have received error messages from SERVCON to upload the rejected files again. Users who are unable to upload service contract files are asked to contact the Office of Service Contracts and Tariffs by e-mail with the contract number, amendment number, organization number, user name, file name, original file date, and the SERVCON confirmation number, if available. The FMC Office of Service Contracts and Tariffs can be reached at servcon@fmc.gov or by phone on 1-202-523-5856.

 WTSA Carriers Amend Bunker and Currency Surcharges

The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA), whose member carriers serve the trade from the US to East Asia, recently announced the following amendments to Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF) and Currency Adjustment Factors (CAF) effective: October 1 thru Dec. 31, 2004

Bunker (BAF) Currency (CAF)
US$ 220 per 20' container Japan 49%
US$ 275 per 40'/45' container Taiwan 4%
US$ 14 per WM Singapore 8%

Revisions to BAF, CAF and other surcharges for transportation services are published in the FMC tariffs of the WTSA member carriers, and shown on its website: www.wtsacarriers.org. The 13 members of WTSA are: American President Lines, China Shipping Container Lines, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine Corp., Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, 'K' Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, NYK Line, OOCL, P&O Nedlloyd, and Yang Ming Marine.

 TACA Carriers Implement General Rate Increase and Increase Surcharges

The Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement (TACA), whose member carriers serve the trade between the USA and North Europe, United Kingdom and Ireland, Scandinavia and Baltic Ports, have implemented a previously announced General Rate Increase (GRI) to all tariff rates effective October 1, 2004. This is the second GRI for TACA this year. TACA's Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF) will remain at seven percent (7%) through November 15, 2004, and its Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) remains at the following levels:

General Rate Increases (GRI), effective October 1, 2004:

Westbound from N. Europe to USA Eastbound from USA to N.Europe
US$ 240 per 20ft container US$ 240 per 20ft container
US$ 300 per 40/45ft container US$ 300 per 40/45ft container
US$ 15 per W/M US$ 15 per W/M

Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF), effective September 16 through November 15, 2004, traffic to/from and via:

US Atlantic/Gulf Coast Ports US Pacific Coast Ports
US$ 160 per 20ft container US$ 240 per 20ft container
US$ 320 per 40/45ft container US$ 480 per 40/45ft container
US$ 16 per W/M US$ 24 per W/M

TACA members are Atlantic Container Line, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line, Orient Overseas Container Line, and P&O Nedlloyd Limited. Revisions to surcharges for transportation services are published in TACA's relevant FMC tariffs and on its website: www.tacaconf.com.

 TSA Carriers Increase Bunker & Extend Peak Season Surcharge (PSS)

The Carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), serving the East Asia/USA trade lane have recently filed or announced increases to Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF), and amendments to Peak Season Surcharges (PSS). The PSS was scheduled to expire on October 31, 2004; however, TSA has announced the PSS will be "extended through November 30, 2004 for U.S. East Coast shipments moving all-water via Panama Canal." Other carriers serving the Asia/USA trade lane have also extended their Peak Season Surcharges, and in some cases extended their PSS through November 30 for all USA destinations, not just US East Coast ports. Details announced by TSA are as follows:

Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF): Peak Season Surcharge (PSS):
Effective October 1 thru Dec. 31, 2004 Valid Thru October 31, 2004 for US West Coast and IPI
Valid Thru November 30, 2004 for All Water East Coast

US$ 6 per W/M (LTL) US$ 300 per 20' container
US$ 205 per 20' container US$ 400 per 40' container
US$ 275 per 40' container US$ 450 per high cube container
US$ 310 per high cube container US$ 505 per 45' container
US$ 345 per 45' container

Revisions to surcharges are published in FMC tariffs of TSA member carriers and on its website: www.tsacarriers.org. TSA Member Carriers are: American President Lines, CMA-CGM, COSCO Container Lines Ltd., Evergreen Marine Corp., Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, 'K' Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, NYK Line; OOCL, P&O Nedlloyd, and Yangming Marine. FMC regulations require these amendments to surcharges to be filed in ocean carrier or NVOCC tariffs at least 30 days before the effective dates.

     Volume 8  Number 10     October, 2004    

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The information contained herein is obtained from reliable sources. It is subject to change at any time, however, depending on changes in laws and regulations. While we continually attempt to monitor this information, we do not guarantee its accuracy and are not responsible for any damages suffered by any party in reliance on it.

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