Shipping_Dispute Resolution and Investigation of Complaints


To provide assistance to those engaged in international ocean shipping, including those making household goods shipments. Assistance may include helping locate missing cargo and helping resolve issues with respect to costs or service. To provide a forum for settling commercial and legal disputes between or among carriers, shippers, and ocean transportation intermediaries through the use of various means of alternative dispute resolution. To assist cruise passengers and cruise lines resolve disputes that may arise before or after a cruise vacation. While the Commission does not have formal authority over cruise line service issues, the Commission does offer free mediation and ombuds services to assist parties in resolving disputes.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 04/02/2020 (Archived.)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Federal Maritime Commission
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Resolution of Disputes
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Shipping Act of 1984, as amended, 46 U.S.C 40101; Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C 571.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Any person may seek voluntary dispute resolution, or may pursue reparations to compensate for financial losses upon proving a violation of the Shipping Act of 1984.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Anyone/General public.
Requests for assistance should provide a description of a challenge or dispute involving Shipping Act, contractual, or commercial concerns. The request should also state a desired result or outcome. For household goods shipments and other cargo issues, submit bills of lading and other contractual documents. For canceled cruises, passengers need to document payments and provide identifying passenger and/or voyage information. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Informal complaints or requests for mediation or other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures may be submitted to the Commission in an e-mail to To the extent available, all complaints other than cruise complaints should include the following information: Bill of lading/dock receipts/arrival notices/invoices; Description of cargo; Origin; Port of origin (may be the same as origin); Destination; Port of destination (may be the same as destination); Date of shipment or sailing; Name of individual(s) filing complaint (if you are representing a complainant, what is your name and your relationship to the complainant); Company name of complainant(s); Contact information for complainant(s) (and/or representative(s)) include telephone, fax, address including zip code, and email; Name of shipping company or party against whom the complaint is being filed; Contact information for that company or party, (including name(s) of responsible individuals, telephone and fax numbers, address including zip code and email); Description of issue and desired solution. Include as much information as you believe we will need when we contact the other party(s) to the complaint. Explain what you would like to see accomplished - getting cargo released, negotiating a monetary solution, etc. Cruise complaints should include the following information: Ticket/passenger invoice; Date of sailing; Length and nature of cruise; Port of origin; Port of destination; Did you purchase transportation from your home to the port of origin from the cruise line? Did you purchase transportation from the port of destination to your home from the cruise line? Questions regarding these matters may be directed to the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services at (202) 523-5807; 1-866-448-9586 (toll free); fax: (202) 275-0059; email: A formal complaint, as well as a complaint requesting informal (small claims) adjudication may be submitted pursuant to Section 11 of the Shipping Act of 1984 to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission. (See the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure at 46 CFR Part 502). Questions regarding those procedures may be directed to the Office of the Secretary, at (202) 523-5725; fax: (202) 523-0014; or email: The Federal Maritime Commission is located at: 800 North Capitol Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20573. Visit our website at
Award Procedure
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not Applicable.
How may assistance be used?
The Commission's Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services assists disputing parties with achieving voluntary settlements.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Not applicable.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Federal Maritime Commission Area Representatives: South Florida: Andrew Margolis and Eric Mintz, P. O. Box 813609, Hollywood, FL 33081-3609. Telephone: (954) 963-5362. Fax: (954) 963-5630. E-mail:, Seattle: Michael A. Moneck, The Fabulich Center, Suite 508, 3600 Port of Tacoma Road, Tacoma, WA 98424-1044. Telephone: (253) 922-7622. Fax: (253) 922-7859. E-mail: New Orleans: Bruce N. Johnson, Sr., Telephone: (504) 589-6662. Fax: (504) 589-6663. E-mail: Los Angeles: Oliver E. Clark and Nash D. Asandas, P.O. Box 230, San Pedro, CA 90733-0230. Telephone: (310) 514-4905. Fax: (310) 514-3931. E-mail:, New York: Ronald Podlaskowich and Matthew D. Forst, Woodbridge Place, 517 Route One South, Suite 2220, Iselin, NJ 08830. Telephone: (732) 283-2496, Fax: (732) 283-2498. E-mail:, Houston: Adam J. Sinko, 650 N. Sam Houston Parkway, #230, Houston, TX 77060-5908. Telephone: (281) 386-8211. E-mail:
Headquarters Office
Rebecca A. Fenneman 800 North Capitol Street, N.W., Washington, District of Columbia 20573 Email: Phone: 202-523-5807 Fax: 202-275-0059
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries) FY 14 $1,761,000; FY 15 est $1,846,000; and FY 16 est $1,985,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
46 CFR 502.401 et. seq.; brochure available from Headquarters Office.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.


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