Hede Int. Shipping Added to Controlled Carrier List by FMC

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Updated Published

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), an independent U.S. agency tasked with regulating the international ocean transportation system for fairness and efficiency, has recently placed Hede (HONGKONG) International Shipping Limited, a firm connected to the government of the People’s Republic of China, under the status of a controlled carrier.

This classification means Hede (HONGKONG) International Shipping Limited will be included on the Commission’s Controlled Carrier List, subjecting it to increased regulatory oversight by the FMC.

The list comprises ocean common carriers that operate between the U.S. and foreign countries and are either owned or controlled by foreign governments. A carrier is deemed government-owned or controlled if the foreign government holds a majority interest, or possesses the authority to appoint or reject the majority of the carrier's directors, COO, or CEO.

The purpose of the FMC’s intensified supervision is to prevent controlled carriers from using their government-supported advantages unfairly against competitors by ensuring their service rates and charges remain at or above a level deemed "just and reasonable."

Additionally, the list has been updated to remove COSCO Shipping Lines (Europe) GmbH due to its cessation of operations in U.S. trades and tariff withdrawal, though other COSCO entities remain listed.

This update, the first since April 30, 2019, reflects the recent expansion of Hede (HONGKONG) International Shipping Limited into the U.S. market, having previously operated solely within intra-Asia trade routes.

With this addition, the Controlled Carrier List now enumerates four companies, all of which are headquartered in China. These are COSCO SHIPPING Lines Co., Ltd., Orient Overseas Container Line Limited, OOCL (Europe) Limited, and the newly listed Hede (HONGKONG) International Shipping Limited.

It's crucial to recognize that the Controlled Carrier List does not encompass all entities with foreign ownership, control, or government affiliation. Instead, it specifically targets companies meeting the legal criteria defined in 46 U.S.C. Chapter 407. Thus, tramp operators and other non-common carriers do not appear on the list, nor do non-vessel-operating common carriers, irrespective of their ownership or control status.