46 U.S. Code § 46101 – General organization

(a) Organization.—The Federal Maritime Commission is an independent establishment of the United States Government.

(b) Commissioners.—

(1) Composition.—The Commission is composed of 5 Commissioners, appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Not more than 3 Commissioners may be appointed from the same political party.

(2) Terms.—The term of each Commissioner is 5 years. When the term of a Commissioner ends, the Commissioner may continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualified, but for a period not to exceed one year. Except as provided in paragraph (3), no individual may serve more than 2 terms.

(3) Vacancies.—A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. An individual appointed to fill a vacancy is appointed only for the unexpired term of the individual being succeeded. An individual appointed to fill a vacancy may serve 2 terms in addition to the remainder of the term for which the predecessor of that individual was appointed.

(4) Conflicts of interest.—

(A) Limitation on relationships with regulated entities.—A Commissioner may not have a pecuniary interest in, hold an official relation to, or own stocks or bonds of any entity the Commission regulates under chapter 401 of this title.

(B) Limitation on other activities.—A Commissioner may not engage in another business, vocation, or employment.

(5) Removal.—The President may remove a Commissioner for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.

(c) Chairman.—

(1) Designation.—The President shall designate one of the Commissioners as Chairman.

(2) General authority.—The Chairman is the chief executive and administrative officer of the Commission. In carrying out the duties and powers of the Commission (other than under paragraph (3)), the Chairman is subject to the policies, regulatory decisions, findings, and determinations of the Commission.

(3) Particular duties.—

(A) In general.—The Chairman shall—

(i) appoint and supervise officers and employees of the Commission;

(ii) appoint the heads of major organizational units (with such appointments subject to the approval of the Commission);

(iii) distribute the business of the Commission among personnel and organizational units;

(iv) supervise the expenditure of money for administrative purposes;

(v) assign Commission personnel, including Commissioners, to perform duties and powers delegated by the Commission under section 46104 of this title; and

(vi) prepare and submit to the President and the Congress requests for appropriations for the Commission (with such requests subject to the approval of the Commission).

(B) Nonapplication.—Subparagraph (A) (other than clause (v)) does not apply to personnel employed regularly and full-time in the offices of Commissioners other than the Chairman.

(4) Delegation.—The Chairman may designate officers and employees under the Chairman’s jurisdiction to perform duties and powers of the Chairman, subject to the Chairman’s supervision and direction.

(d) Seal.—The Commission shall have a seal which shall be judicially recognized.


46 U.S. Code § 46102 – Quorum

A vacancy or vacancies in the membership of the Federal Maritime Commission do not impair the power of the Commission to execute its functions. The affirmative vote of a majority of the Commissioners serving on the Commission is required to dispose of any matter before the Commission.


46 U.S. Code § 46103 – Meetings 

(a) In General.—The Federal Maritime Commission shall be deemed to be an agency for purposes of section 552b of title 5.

(b) Record.—The Commission, through its secretary, shall keep a record of its meetings and the votes taken on any action, order, contract, or financial transaction of the Commission.

(c) Nonpublic Collaborative Discussions.—

(1) In general.—Notwithstanding section 552b of title 5, a majority of the Commissioners may hold a meeting that is not open to public observation to discuss official agency business if—

(A) no formal or informal vote or other official agency action is taken at the meeting;

(B) each individual present at the meeting is a Commissioner or an employee of the Commission;

(C) at least 1 Commissioner from each political party is present at the meeting, if applicable; and

(D) the General Counsel of the Commission is present at the meeting.

(2) Disclosure of nonpublic collaborative discussions.—Except as provided under paragraph (3), not later than 2 business days after the conclusion of a meeting under paragraph (1), the Commission shall make available to the public, in a place easily accessible to the public—

(A) a list of the individuals present at the meeting; and

(B) a summary of the matters discussed at the meeting, except for any matters the Commission properly determines may be withheld from the public under section 552b(c) of title 5.

(3) Exception.—If the Commission properly determines matters may be withheld from the public under section 552b(c) of title 5, the Commission shall provide a summary with as much general information as possible on those matters withheld from the public.

(4) Ongoing proceedings.—If a meeting under paragraph (1) directly relates to an ongoing proceeding before the Commission, the Commission shall make the disclosure under paragraph (2) on the date of the final Commission decision.

(5) Preservation of open meetings requirements for agency action.—Nothing in this subsection may be construed to limit the applicability of section 552b of title 5 with respect to a meeting of the Commissioners other than that described in this subsection.

(6) Statutory construction.—Nothing in this subsection may be construed—

(A) to limit the applicability of section 552b of title 5 with respect to any information which is proposed to be withheld from the public under paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection; or

(B) to authorize the Commission to withhold from any individual any record that is accessible to that individual under section 552a of title 5.


46 U.S. Code § 46104 – Delegation of authority

(a) Delegation.—The Federal Maritime Commission, by published order or regulation, may delegate to a division of the Commission, an individual Commissioner, an employee board, or an officer or employee of the Commission, any of its duties or powers, including those relating to hearing, determining, ordering, certifying, reporting, or otherwise acting on any matter. This subsection does not affect section 556(b) of title 5.

(b) Review.—The Commission may review any action taken under a delegation of authority under subsection (a). The review may be taken on the Commission’s own initiative or on the petition of a party to or an intervenor in the action, within the time and in the manner prescribed by the Commission. The vote of a majority of the Commission, less one member, is sufficient to bring an action before the Commission for review.

(c) Deemed Action of Commission.—If the Commission declines review, or if review is not sought, within the time prescribed under subsection (b), the action taken under the delegation of authority is deemed to be the action of the Commission.


46 U.S. Code § 46105 – Regulations

(a) In General.—The Federal Maritime Commission may prescribe regulations to carry out its duties and powers.

(b) Transparency.—

(1) In general.—In conjunction with the transmittal by the President to the Congress of the Budget of the United States for fiscal year 2021 and biennially thereafter, the Federal Maritime Commission shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives reports that describe the Commission’s progress toward addressing the issues raised in each unfinished regulatory proceeding, regardless of whether the proceeding is subject to a statutory or regulatory deadline.

(2) Format of reports.—Each report under paragraph (1) shall, among other things, clearly identify for each unfinished regulatory proceeding—

(A) the popular title;

(B) the current stage of the proceeding;

(C) an abstract of the proceeding;

(D) what prompted the action in question;

(E) any applicable statutory, regulatory, or judicial deadline;

(F) the associated docket number;

(G) the date the rulemaking was initiated;

(H) a date for the next action; and

(I) if a date for the next action identified in the previous report is not met, the reason for the delay.


46 U.S. Code § 46106 – Annual Report

(a) In General.—Not later than April 1 of each year, the Federal Maritime Commission shall submit a report to Congress. The report shall include the results of its investigations, a summary of its transactions, the purposes for which all of its expenditures were made, and any recommendations for legislation.

(b) Report on Foreign Laws and Practices.—The Commission shall include in its annual report to Congress—

(1) a list of the 20 foreign countries that generated the largest volume of oceanborne liner cargo for the most recent calendar year in bilateral trade with the United States;

(2) an analysis of conditions described in section 42302(a) of this title being investigated or found to exist in foreign countries;

(3) any actions being taken by the Commission to offset those conditions;

(4) any recommendations for additional legislation to offset those conditions;

(5) a list of petitions filed under section 42302(b) of this title that the Commission rejected and the reasons for each rejection; and

(6) an analysis of the impacts on competition for the purchase of certain covered services by alliances of ocean common carriers acting pursuant to an agreement under this part 1 between or among ocean common carriers, including a summary of actions, including corrective actions, taken by the Commission to promote such competition.

(c) Definition of Certain Covered Services.—In this section, the term “certain covered services” has the meaning given the term in section 40102.


46 U.S. Code § 46107 – Expenditures

(a) In General.—The Federal Maritime Commission may make such expenditures as are necessary in the performance of its functions from funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it, which appropriations are authorized.

(b) Prohibition.—Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Federal Maritime Commission may not expend any funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it to a non-Federal entity to issue an award, prize, commendation, or other honor that is not related to the purposes set forth in section 40101.


46 U.S. Code § 46108 – Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Federal Maritime Commission $29,086,888 for fiscal year 2020 and $29,639,538 for fiscal year 2021 for the activities of the Commission authorized under this chapter and subtitle IV.