FMC’s Commissioner Bentzel Recognizes Importance of the UIIA

November 17, 2022

FMC’s Commissioner Bentzel Recognizes Importance of the UIIA

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IANA would like to thank FMC Commissioner Carl Bentzel for recognizing that the UIIA is “incredibly important”, and that IANA plays a “vital” role in connection with respect to intermodal shipping policies. The Uniform Intermodal Interchange & Facilities Access Agreement (UIIA) is a standard intermodal industry contract that has governed the exchange of equipment between motor carriers and intermodal equipment providers for decades.

On November 2, 2022, IANA received a letter from Commissioner Bentzel suggesting that the UIIA be modified to avoid any potential legal conflict arising out of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022, (OSRA-22).  On November 14, 2022, Commissioner Bentzel publicly posted his correspondence to IANA on the FMC’s website.

IANA fully recognizes that the UIIA must conform with federal law.  The UIIA itself includes a provision that all parties to the agreement must obey all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations.  Currently, the UIIA is totally harmonized with federal law; no conflict exists between OSRA-22 and the UIIA.  Additionally, no conflict can exist between a proposed rule (such as the FMC’s NPRM regarding detention and demurrage) and the UIIA since a proposed rule is, by definition, not an actual final rule.  And Commissioner Bentzel’s letter itself acknowledges that the final rule is “a moving target.”  

“IANA appreciates FMC’s acknowledgment of the importance of the UIIA and will continue to work with the FMC on specific issues that can and should be addressed under the Agreement,” shared Joni Casey, President & CEO of IANA. “For example, there is an established process in place to consider whether any final rule on the subject of detention and demurrage warrants any modification to the UIIA,” she added.