STB Finalizes Rule on Demurrage

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has amended its regulations governing the class exemptions for certain miscellaneous commodities, such as paper products and steel scrap, and boxcar transportation to clearly state that demurrage continues to be subject to regulation.

In a news release the STB said the rule change, which becomes effective April 3, reflects longstanding court and agency rulings that these exemptions do not apply to the regulation of demurrage.

It is also intended to clarify the regulation of demurrage, which is a fee charged to a shipper who fails to load or unload freight within an agreed upon period of time.

The new STB rule partially revokes the class exemption that covers certain agricultural commodities so that the exemption will not apply to demurrage regulation.

As a result, the agency said, the exemption for agricultural commodities will be consistent with similar class exemptions covering non-intermodal rail transportation, they added.

The rule change was first announced by the STB last October.

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