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46 U.S. Code § 41103 - Disclosure of information

(a) Prohibition.—A common carrier, marine terminal operator, or ocean freight forwarder, either alone or in conjunction with any other person, directly or indirectly, may not knowingly disclose, offer, solicit, or receive any information concerning the nature, kind, quantity, destination, consignee, or routing of any property tendered or delivered to a common carrier, without the consent of the shipper or consignee, if the information—
may be used to the detriment or prejudice of the shipper, the consignee, or any common carrier; or
may improperly disclose its business transaction to a competitor.
(b) Exceptions.—Subsection (a) does not prevent providing the information—
in response to legal process;
to the Federal Maritime Commission or an agency of the United States Government; or
to an independent neutral body operating within the scope of its authority to fulfill the policing obligations of the parties to an agreement effective under this part.
(c) Disclosure for Determining Breach or Compiling Statistics.—An ocean common carrier that is a party to a conference agreement approved under this part, a receiver, trustee, lessee, agent, or employee of the carrier, or any other person authorized by the carrier to receive information—
(1) may give information to the conference or any person or agency designated by the conference, for the purpose of—
determining whether a shipper or consignee has breached an agreement with the conference or its member lines;
determining whether a member of the conference has breached the conference agreement; or
compiling statistics of cargo movement; and
may not prevent the conference or its designee from soliciting or receiving information for any of those purposes.

Historical and Revision Notes



Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)


46 App.:1709(b)(13), (d)(3) (related to (b)(13)), (5).

Pub. L. 98–237, § 10(b)(13), (words after cl. (13)), (d)(3) (related to (b)(13)), (5), Mar. 20, 1984, 98 Stat. 79, 80; Pub. L. 101–595, title VII, § 710(c)(1), (2), Nov. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 2997; Pub. L. 105–258, title I, § 109(a)(10), (11), (16), (17), (c)(3), Oct. 14, 1998, 112 Stat. 1910, 1911.


46 App.:1709(b) (next-to-last sentence).


46 App.:1709(b) (last sentence).

In subsection (a), the words “marine terminal operator, or ocean freight forwarder” are added because of 46 App. U.S.C. 1709(d)(3) and (5). The words “ocean freight forwarder” are substituted for “ocean transportation intermediaries, as defined by section 1702(17)(A) of this Appendix” in 46 App. U.S.C. 1709(d)(5) because the definition of “ocean transportation intermediary” in section 1702(17)(A) contains a definition of “ocean freight forwarder” which is restated as a separate definition.

In subsection (b), the words “does not prevent” are substituted for “Nothing . . . shall be construed to prevent” to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsection (c)(1), the words “may give information” are substituted for “Nor shall it be prohibited . . . to give information” to eliminate unnecessary words. The words “firm, corporation” are omitted as unnecessary because firms and corporations are persons.

In subsection (c)(2), the words “may not prevent” are substituted for “Nor shall it be prohibited . . . to prevent” to reflect the probable intent of Congress. The words “but the use of such information for any other purpose prohibited by this chapter or any other Act is prohibited” are omitted as unnecessary.