The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has voted to grant the temporary relief from certain service contract and tariff filing requirements requested by French ocean container carrier CMA CGM. The carrier sought relief from commission regulations earlier this month as part of its efforts to respond to a crippling cyberattack on its computer system in late September.
The commissioners granted the request for exemption from relevant service contract filing requirements and relevant tariff publishing requirements. Both exemptions are subject to certain conditions, the FMC said. The exemption from tariff publishing requirements applies only to cargo received on or after the date of the order.
“Because the commission’s exemption authority is limited to prospective relief, the commission denies the request for exemption from the relevant tariff publishing requirements for cargo received prior to the date of this order. Instead, the CMA Group may use other procedures provided by the Shipping Act that allow them to refund or waive collection of freight charges for these shipments due to failure to publish a tariff,” the FMC said in its temporary relief order for the carrier. CMA CGM asked the FMC to use its authority under the Shipping Act to institute the exemption for a period of 60 days, starting on Sept. 27, when it was struck by the ransomware attack. The carrier said the cyberattack had impacted its ability to publish tariff rates and rules, as well as file service contracts and amendments, which are required under the Shipping Act, in a timely manner.
“Granting this petition will allow the CMA Group to apply service contract rates agreed upon with customers and tariff terms offered to customers for shipments received before filing or publication can be accomplished, rather than requiring customers to pay higher rates due to the CMA Group’s inability to conduct timely service contract filings or tariff publications,” the carrier said in its four-page petition.
CMA CGM cited that subsidiary APL had been unable to publish new rates and prevented from amending existing rules. APL, for example, could not revise its general rate increase effective data from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1 due to its lack of access to its tariff system.