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§ 1707. Tariffs

(a) In general
(1) Except with regard to bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, new assembled motor vehicles, waste paper, and paper waste, each common carrier and conference shall keep open to public inspection in an automated tariff system, tariffs showing all its rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices between all points or ports on its own route and on any through transportation route that has been established. However, common carriers shall not be required to state separately or otherwise reveal in tariffs the inland divisions of a through rate. Tariffs shall—
(A) state the places between which cargo will be carried;
(B) list each classification of cargo in use;
(C) state the level of ocean transportation intermediary, as defined in section 1702 (17)(A) of this Appendix, compensation, if any, by a carrier or conference;
(D) state separately each terminal or other charge, privilege, or facility under the control of the carrier or conference and any rules or regulations that in any way change, affect, or determine any part or the aggregate of the rates or charges;
(E) include sample copies of any bill of lading, contract of affreightment, or other document evidencing the transportation agreement; and
(F) include copies of any loyalty contract, omitting the shipper’s name.
(2) Tariffs shall be made available electronically to any person, without time, quantity, or other limitation, through appropriate access from remote locations, and a reasonable charge may be assessed for such access. No charge may be assessed a Federal agency for such access.
(b) Time-volume rates
Rates shown in tariffs filed under subsection (a) of this section may vary with the volume of cargo offered over a specified period of time.
(c) Service contracts
(1) In general
An individual ocean common carrier or an agreement between or among ocean common carriers may enter into a service contract with one or more shippers subject to the requirements of this chapter. The exclusive remedy for a breach of a contract entered into under this subsection shall be an action in an appropriate court, unless the parties otherwise agree. In no case may the contract dispute resolution forum be controlled by or in any way affiliated with a controlled carrier as defined in section 1702 (8) of this Appendix, or by the government which owns or controls the carrier.
(2) Filing requirements
Except for service contracts dealing with bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, new assembled motor vehicles, waste paper, or paper waste, each contract entered into under this subsection by an individual ocean common carrier or an agreement shall be filed confidentially with the Commission. Each service contract shall include the following essential terms—
(A) the origin and destination port ranges;
(B) the origin and destination geographic areas in the case of through intermodal movements;
(C) the commodity or commodities involved;
(D) the minimum volume or portion;
(E) the line-haul rate;
(F) the duration;
(G) service commitments; and
(H) the liquidated damages for nonperformance, if any.
(3) Publication of certain terms
When a service contract is filed confidentially with the Commission, a concise statement of the essential terms described in paragraphs 2(A),[1] (C), (D), and (F) shall be published and made available to the general public in tariff format.
(4) Disclosure of certain terms
(A) An ocean common carrier, which is a party to or is subject to the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement with a labor organization, shall, in response to a written request by such labor organization, state whether it is responsible for the following work at dock areas and within port areas in the United States with respect to cargo transportation under a service contract described in paragraph (1) of this subsection—
(i) the movement of the shipper’s cargo on a dock area or within the port area or to or from railroad cars on a dock area or within the port area;
(ii) the assignment of intraport carriage of the shipper’s cargo between areas on a dock or within the port area;
(iii) the assignment of the carriage of the shipper’s cargo between a container yard on a dock area or within the port area and a rail yard adjacent to such container yard; and
(iv) the assignment of container freight station work and container maintenance and repair work performed at a dock area or within the port area.
(B) The common carrier shall provide the information described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph to the requesting labor organization within a reasonable period of time.
(C) This paragraph requires the disclosure of information by an ocean common carrier only if there exists an applicable and otherwise lawful collective bargaining agreement which pertains to that carrier. No disclosure made by an ocean common carrier shall be deemed to be an admission or agreement that any work is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Any dispute regarding whether any work is covered by a collective bargaining agreement and the responsibility of the ocean common carrier under such agreement shall be resolved solely in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures contained in the collective bargaining agreement and the National Labor Relations Act [29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.], and without reference to this paragraph.
(D) Nothing in this paragraph shall have any effect on the lawfulness or unlawfulness under this chapter, the National Labor Relations Act [29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.], the Taft-Hartley Act [29 U.S.C. 141 et seq.], the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.], the antitrust laws, or any other Federal or State law, or any revisions or amendments thereto, of any collective bargaining agreement or element thereof, including any element that constitutes an essential term of a service contract under this subsection.
(E) For purposes of this paragraph the terms “dock area” and “within the port area” shall have the same meaning and scope as in the applicable collective bargaining agreement between the requesting labor organization and the carrier.
(d) Tariff rates
No new or initial rate or change in an existing rate that results in an increased cost to the shipper may become effective earlier than 30 calendar days after publication. The Commission, for good cause, may allow such a new or initial rate or change to become effective in less than 30 calendar days. A change in an existing rate that results in a decreased cost to the shipper may become effective upon publication.
(e) Refunds
The Commission may, upon application of a carrier or shipper, permit a common carrier or conference to refund a portion of freight charges collected from a shipper or to waive the collection of a portion of the charges from a shipper if—
(1) there is an error in a,[2] in failing to publish a new tariff, or an error in quoting a tariff, and the refund will not result in discrimination among shippers, ports, or carriers;
(2) the common carrier or conference has, prior to filing an application for authority to make a refund for an error in a tariff or a failure to publish a tariff, published a new tariff that sets forth the rate on which the refund or waiver would be based; and
(3) the application for refund or waiver is filed with the Commission within 180 days from the date of shipment.
(f) Marine terminal operator schedules
A marine terminal operator may make available to the public, subject to section 1709 (d) of this Appendix, a schedule of rates, regulations, and practices, including limitations of liability for cargo loss or damage, pertaining to receiving, delivering, handling, or storing property at its marine terminal. Any such schedule made available to the public shall be enforceable by an appropriate court as an implied contract without proof of actual knowledge of its provisions.
(g) Regulations
The Commission shall by regulation prescribe the requirements for the accessibility and accuracy of automated tariff systems established under this section. The Commission may, after periodic review, prohibit the use of any automated tariff system that fails to meet the requirements established under this section. The Commission may not require a common carrier to provide a remote terminal for access under subsection (a)(2) of this section. The Commission shall by regulation prescribe the form and manner in which marine terminal operator schedules authorized by this section shall be published.


[1] So in original. Probably should be “(2)(A),”.

[2] So in original.

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