The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on 2nd May, rejected on jurisdictional grounds the “Tripartite Agreement” (FMC Agreement No. 012475), an agreement between three carriers to form a joint container shipping service.
The Shipping Act does not provide the Federal Maritime Commission with authority to review and approve mergers. After careful consideration, the Commission determined that parties to the Tripartite Agreement were ultimately establishing a merged, new business entity and that action is among the type of agreements excluded from FMC review.
The Tripartite Agreement was filed at the Commission on March 24, 2017 by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd (K Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK). These parties were seeking authority to share information with each other in advance of a new business entity being formed under the agreement next year. Absent today’s vote, or a Request for Additional Information, the agreement would have gone into effect on May 8.
The Federal Maritime Commission is responsible for regulating the Nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The Commission’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.