46 U.S. Code § 40501. General rate and tariff requirements

(a) Automated Tariff System.—
(1) In general.—
Each common carrier and conference shall keep open to public inspection in an automated tariff system, tariffs showing all its rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices between all points or ports on its own route and on any through transportation route that has been established. However, a common carrier is not required to state separately or otherwise reveal in tariffs the inland divisions of a through rate.
(2) Exceptions.—
Paragraph (1) does not apply with respect to bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, new assembled motor vehicles, waste paper, or paper waste.
(b) Contents of Tariffs.—A tariff under subsection (a) shall—
(1) state the places between which cargo will be carried;
(2) list each classification of cargo in use;
(3) state the level of compensation, if any, of any ocean freight forwarder by a carrier or conference;
(4) state separately each terminal or other charge, privilege, or facility under the control of the carrier or conference and any rules that in any way change, affect, or determine any part or the total of the rates or charges;
(5) include sample copies of any bill of lading, contract of affreightment, or other document evidencing the transportation agreement; and
(6) include copies of any loyalty contract, omitting the shipper’s name.
(c) Electronic Access.—
A tariff under subsection (a) shall be made available electronically to any person, without time, quantity, or other limitation, through appropriate access from remote locations. A reasonable fee may be charged for such access, except that no fee may be charged for access by a Federal agency.
(d) Time-Volume Rates.—
A rate contained in a tariff under subsection (a) may vary with the volume of cargo offered over a specified period of time.
(e) Effective Dates.—
(1) Increases.—
A new or initial rate or change in an existing rate that results in an increased cost to a shipper may not become effective earlier than 30 days after publication. However, for good cause, the Federal Maritime Commission may allow the rate to become effective sooner.
(2) Decreases.—
A change in an existing rate that results in a decreased cost to a shipper may become effective on publication.
(f) Marine Terminal Operator Schedules.—
A marine terminal operator may make available to the public a schedule of rates, regulations, and practices, including limitations of liability for cargo loss or damage, pertaining to receiving, delivering, handling, or storing property at its marine terminal. Any such schedule made available to the public is enforceable by an appropriate court as an implied contract without proof of actual knowledge of its provisions.
(g) Regulations.—
(1) In general.—
The Commission shall by regulation prescribe the requirements for the accessibility and accuracy of automated tariff systems established under this section. The Commission, after periodic review, may prohibit the use of any automated tariff system that fails to meet the requirements established under this section.
(2) Remote terminals.—
The Commission may not require a common carrier to provide a remote terminal for electronic access under subsection (c).
(3) Marine terminal operator schedules.—
The Commission shall by regulation prescribe the form and manner in which marine terminal operator schedules authorized by this section shall be published.
46 U.S. Code § 40502 – Service contracts
(a) In General.—
An individual ocean common carrier or an agreement between or among ocean common carriers may enter into a service contract with one or more shippers subject to the requirements of this part.
(b) Filing Requirements.—
(1) In general.—
Each service contract entered into under this section by an individual ocean common carrier or an agreement shall be filed confidentially with the Federal Maritime Commission.
(2) Exceptions.—
Paragraph (1) does not apply to contracts regarding bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, new assembled motor vehicles, waste paper, or paper waste.
(c) Essential Terms.—Each service contract shall include—
(1) the origin and destination port ranges;
(2) the origin and destination geographic areas in the case of through intermodal movements;
(3) the commodities involved;
(4) the minimum volume or portion;
(5) the line-haul rate;
(6) the duration;
(7) service commitments; and
(8) the liquidated damages for nonperformance, if any.
(d) Publication of Certain Terms.—
When a service contract is filed confidentially with the Commission, a concise statement of the essential terms specified in paragraphs (1), (3), (4), and (6) of subsection (c) shall be published and made available to the general public in tariff format.
(e) Disclosure of Certain Terms.—
(1) Definitions.—
In this subsection, the terms “dock area” and “within the port area” have the same meaning and scope as in the applicable collective bargaining agreement between the requesting labor organization and the carrier.
(2) Disclosure.—An ocean common carrier that is a party to or is otherwise subject to a collective bargaining agreement with a labor organization shall, in response to a written request by the labor organization, state whether it is responsible for the following work at a dock area or within a port area in the United States with respect to cargo transportation under a service contract:
(A) The movement of the shipper’s cargo on a dock area or within the port area or to or from railroad cars on a dock area or within the port area.
(B) The assignment of intraport carriage of the shipper’s cargo between areas on a dock or within the port area.
(C) The assignment of the carriage of the shipper’s cargo between a container yard on a dock area or within the port area and a rail yard adjacent to the container yard.
(D) The assignment of container freight station work and container maintenance and repair work performed at a dock area or within the port area.
(3) Within reasonable time.—
The common carrier shall provide the information described in paragraph (2) to the requesting labor organization within a reasonable period of time.
(4) Existence of collective bargaining agreement.—
This subsection does not require the disclosure of information by an ocean common carrier unless there exists an applicable and otherwise lawful collective bargaining agreement pertaining to that carrier. A disclosure by an ocean common carrier may not be deemed an admission or an agreement that any work is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. A dispute about whether any work is covered by a collective bargaining agreement and the responsibility of an ocean common carrier under a collective bargaining agreement shall be resolved solely in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures contained in the collective bargaining agreement and the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), and without reference to this subsection.
(5) Effect under other laws.—
This subsection does not affect the lawfulness or unlawfulness under this part or any other Federal or State law of any collective bargaining agreement or element thereof, including any element that constitutes an essential term of a service contract.
(f) Remedy for Breach.—
Unless the parties agree otherwise, the exclusive remedy for a breach of a service contract is an action in an appropriate court. The contract dispute resolution forum may not be controlled by or in any way affiliated with a controlled carrier or by the government that owns or controls the carrier.
46 U.S. Code § 40503. Refunds and waivers
The Federal Maritime Commission, on application of a carrier or shipper, may permit a common carrier or conference to refund a portion of the freight charges collected from a shipper, or to waive collection of a portion of the charges from a shipper, if—
(1) there is an error in a tariff, a failure to publish a new tariff, or an error in quoting a tariff, and the refund or waiver will not result in discrimination among shippers, ports, or carriers;
(2) the common carrier or conference, before filing an application for authority to refund or waive any charges for an error in a tariff or a failure to publish a tariff, has published a new tariff setting forth the rate on which the refund or waiver would be based; and
(3) the application for the refund or waiver is filed with the Commission within 180 days from the date of shipment.