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FMC adds Chinese Shipping Company to Controlled Carrier list

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WASHINGTON D.C. : The Federal Maritime Commission, the independent federal agency responsible for ensuring a competitive and reliable international ocean transportation system, has designated Hede (HONGKONG) International Shipping Limited, a company associated with the government of the People’s Republic of China, as a controlled carrier.

As a result, the company will be added to the Commission’s Controlled Carrier List and will be subject to enhanced regulatory scrutiny by the FMC.

The Controlled Carrier List is a registry of ocean common carriers operating in U.S.-foreign trades that are owned or controlled by foreign governments. Government ownership or control over an ocean common carrier is established if the government owns or controls a majority interest in the carrier, or if it has the right to appoint or disapprove the appointment of a majority of the directors, the chief operating officer, or the chief executive officer of the carrier.

The Federal Maritime Commission’s enhanced oversight aims to ensure that these controlled carriers do not exploit their government-backed positions to the detriment of competitors by ensuring their rates and charges are not below a level that is considered “just and reasonable.”

The list was also updated to exclude COSCO Shipping Lines (Europe) GmbH, reflecting that the company has ceased operations in U.S. trades and has withdrawn its tariff. However, other entities under COSCO are still included in the list.

The changes mark the first update to the controlled carrier list since April 30, 2019.

Hede (HONGKONG) International Shipping Limited initiated its services to the United States in late 2023, with its operations previously confined to intra-Asia trades.

Following these changes, the Controlled Carrier List now includes four companies, all based in China. These include COSCO SHIPPING Lines Co., Ltd., Orient Overseas Container Line Limited, OOCL (Europe) Limited, and the newly added Hede (HONGKONG) International Shipping Limited.

It’s important to note that the Controlled Carrier List doesn’t include all foreign-owned, foreign-controlled, or government-linked companies and assets, rather it only includes companies that meet the statutory requirements outlined in 46 U.S.C. Chapter 407. As a result, tramp operators and other non-common carriers are not on the list. The same applies to non-vessel-operating common carriers, regardless of their ownership or control.

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