The Administration requests $19.5 million for the operation of the Federal Maritime Commission
for fiscal year 2005. Approximately $18.4 million was appropriated for FMC operations in fiscal year 2004.
The FMC is a five member independent agency responsible for enforcing international shipping rules and regulations involving carriers (container ship operators
), shippers (companies owning goods to be transported), and transportation facilitators such
as freight forwarders, non-vessel operating common carriers, and customs brokers. The FMC is primarily engaged in administering the Shipping Act of 1984. However, the FMC also enforces the Foreign Shipping Practices Act and Section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 to protect shippers and carriers from restrictive or unfair practices of foreign governments and foreign-flag carriers. The FMC also enforces the laws related to cruise vessel financial responsibility to ensure that cruise vessel operators have sufficient resources to pay judgments to passengers for personal injury or death or for nonperformance of a voyage. (HK Law)