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S. 47 (98th): Shipping Act of 1984

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

2/23/1984--Conference report filed in House. (Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 98-600) Shipping Act of 1984 - Makes this Act applicable to agreements by or among ocean common carriers to: (1) discuss, fix, or regulate transportation rates, accommodations, and other conditions of service; (2) pool or apportion traffic, revenues, net losses, or net profits; (3) allot ports or regulate the number and character of sailings between ports; (4) limit or regulate the volume or character of cargo or passenger traffic; (5) engage in exclusive, preferential, or cooperative working arrangements among themselves or marine terminal operators or non-vessel-operating common carriers; (6) control, regulate, or prevent competition in international ocean transportation; and (7) regulate or prohibit the use of service contracts. Makes this Act applicable to agreements among marine terminal operators (to the extent such agreements involve ocean transportation in foreign commerce) and among marine terminal operators and ocean common carriers to: (1) discuss, fix, or regulate rates or other conditions of service; and (2) engage in exclusive, preferential, or cooperative working arrangements. Requires that a copy of every applicable agreement be filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, except transportion performance agreements within or between foreign countries. Authorizes the Commission to prescribe the form and manner in which such agreements shall be filed and the additional information necessary to evaluate them. Sets forth requirements for contents of conference agreements (including conferences utilizing loyalty contracts), interconference agreements, and assessment agreements. Describes criteria by which the Commission shall suspend, cancel, or modify such agreements. Declares that this Act, the Shipping Act, 1916, and the Intercoastal Shipping Act, 1933, do not apply to maritime labor agreements. Exempts certain agreements, contracts, and activities from the antitrust laws. Directs ocean common carriers and conferences to file with the Commission, and keep open to public inspection, tariffs showing all rates between all points on each carrier's routes. Sets forth procedures for rate changes and refunds of rate charges. Authorizes the use of time/volume rates. Authorizes ocean common carriers or conferences to enter into service contracts with individual shippers. Prohibits a controlled carrier from maintaining rates in its tariffs that are below a level that is just and reasonable. Describes standards against which such rates shall be disapproved. Provides for Presidential review of any order of suspension or final order of disapproval of rates of a controlled carrier. Exempts specified types of foreign carriers from the provisions of this Act. Sets forth prohibited acts for common carriers, ocean freight forwarders, and marine terminal operators and prohibits specified concerted actions. Describes procedures for the investigation and adjudication of complaints alleging a violation of this Act. Sets forth civil penalties for such violations. Declares that orders of the Commission relating to any violation of this Act shall remain in effect for the period of time specified in such order unless suspended, modified, or set aside by the Commission or a court of competent jurisdiction. Authorizes the Commission or the injured party to seek injunctive relief in the appropriate United States district court for the enforcement of Commission orders. Authorizes the Commission to require reports and certificates from persons or entities governed by provisions of this Act. Permits the Commission to exempt any specified activity or class of agreements from provisions of this Act. Directs the Commission, for a period of five years following the enactment of this Act, to collect and analyze information concerning the impact of this Act upon the international ocean shipping industry. Sets forth provisions for agency reports. Establishes the Advisory Commission on Conferences in Ocean Shipping, effective five and one-half years after enactment of this Act, to conduct a comprehensive study of conferences in ocean shipping. Terminates the Advisory Commission 30 days after its final report. Authorizes appropriations to carry out its activities. Sets forth criteria under which the Federal Trade Commission may issue licenses to persons to act as ocean freight forwarders.