The Surface Transportation Board (STB) recently issued three separate notices with regards to demurrage.
First, for the Policy Statement on Demurrage and Accessorial Rules and Charges, docket no. EP 757, STB said it “is issuing this proposed policy statement to provide the public with information on principles the Board would consider in evaluating the reasonableness of demurrage and accessorial rules and charges. The Board seeks public comment on this proposed policy statement, and may revise it, as appropriate, after consideration of the comments received.”
STB added that comments on this policy statement are due by Nov. 6, 2019, while reply comments are due by Dec. 6, 2019.
STB also ruled on docket no. 760—Exclusion of Demurrage Regulation From Certain Class Exemptions. In doing so, it said, “The STB proposes to clarify its regulations governing exemptions for certain miscellaneous commodities and boxcar transportation so that those regulations unambiguously state that demurrage continues to be subject to Board regulation. The Board also proposes to revoke, in part, the exemption that currently covers certain agricultural commodities so that the exemption would not apply to the regulation of demurrage, thereby making the agricultural commodities exemption consistent with similar exemptions covering non-intermodal transportation.”
Comments on this proposed notice, STB said, are due by Nov. 6, with reply comments due by Dec. 6, 2019.
STB’s final notice—docket no. 759, Demurrage Billing Requirements— said the agency “proposes changes to the Board’s regulations governing demurrage liability. Specifically, the Board proposes certain requirements regarding Class I carriers’ demurrage invoices, as well as a requirement that a Class I carrier directly bill the shipper if the shipper and warehouseman agree to that arrangement and have so notified the rail carrier.”
This notice, too, carries a Nov. 6 comments due date and a Dec. 6 reply comments deadline.
“Shippers who sought this notice likely gained in terms of an underlying policy pronouncement—that railroads cannot just unilaterally bill shippers and demand payment without providing more factual information,” observed Railway Age Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank. N. Wilner.