The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is aware that Hanjin Shipping has advised its customers that the company’s application to engage in a voluntary restructuring process was denied by its creditors. The Commission is also aware that Hanjin Shipping has disclosed it has filed for court receivership and that these two actions combined have caused uncertainty among the American shipping community about cargo in transit with Hanjin Shipping.
For U.S.-based shippers and cargo owners trying to determine what options they have, the Commission shares this initial guidance:
This is a non-United States legal matter at the moment. Hanjin Shipping is a company located in the Republic of Korea and has applied for receivership in that country.
This is a legal matter and as such, it is important that affected parties, including shippers, consult with their attorneys on what remedies are available to them.
The Commission will be vigilant in watching for, and quick to act on, any improper behavior by other carriers and regulated parties (such as marine terminal operators, non-vessel-operating-common-carriers, and freight forwarders) that would constitute violations of the Shipping Act.
The Federal Maritime Commission has no jurisdiction when it comes to resolving bankruptcy claims and does not intercede in legal actions between third parties that will be heard by the courts.
The Commission is concerned about the operational and competitive impacts of Hanjin Shipping's status on the shipping industry broadly. Our staff will be closely monitoring for the foreseeable future for any developments that might impact shipping markets.
The Commission will issue further updates and guidance as circumstances and developments warrant.
Meanwhile, the FMC has established a protocol for communicating requests for assistance to the agency concerning developments related to the status of Hanjin Shipping.
Allegations of Shipping Act violations or requests for assistance related to retrieving or receiving cargo in transit should be communicated in writing via Email: [email protected]
All correspondence should include “URGENT—HANJIN SHIPPING” in the subject line.
The Commission continues to monitor the operational and competitive impacts of this disruption and is particularly interested in learning of any conduct by any regulated entity that may violate the Shipping Act. Members of the shipping public are encouraged to share with the agency any specific allegations of illegal behavior.
When writing the Commission on this matter, the following information should be provided:
Name (If you are assisting someone else, also provide his/her name(s) and your relationship);
Company Name(s), if applicable;
Contact Information and/or Representative(s) (phone, fax, address including zip code, and email, if available)
Name of Person or Company with whom you are having the problem
Contact Information for that Company or Party, including Individual's Name(s)
Your request should also include:
A full description of the matter (including a description of any attempts already made to resolve the problem);
Your desired solution;
All relevant documentation (e.g., contract, bill of lading, proof of payment, bookings, Order for Service, invoice for the services, emails about the issue, dock receipts, arrival notices, invoices, terminal appointments, terminal operating hours/stoppages, etc.);
A description of the cargo;
The ports of origin and destination (including terminal, railramp, etc.); and
The date of shipment or sailing.
Emails will be referred to the appropriate office with the Federal Maritime Commission for review and assessment of any potential agency action.
Finally, the FMC tells Logistics Management that it will issue further updates and guidance as circumstances develop and warrant.