Federal Maritime Commission

Federal Maritime Commission The regulation of oceanborne transportation in the foreign commerce of the U.S. The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is an independent regulatory agency responsible for the regulation of oceanborne transportation in the foreign commerce of the U.S.

The principal statutes or statutory provisions administered by the Commission are: the Shipping Act of 1984, the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988, section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920, and Public Law 89-777.

Operating as usual


800 N Capitol St NW
Washington D.C., DC

General information

On August 12, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order that established the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) as an independent agency. Under the order, called Reorganization Plan No. 7, the shipping laws of the U.S. were separated into two categories: regulatory and promotional. The newly created FMC was charged with the administration of the regulatory provisions of the shipping laws. Prior to the FMC's birth as an independent agency in 1961, it was part of several predecessor agencies. In 1916, the original Shipping Act established the United States Shipping Board. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order that transferred its functions to the U.S. Shipping Board Bureau in the Department of Commerce. In 1936, Congress separated the Board from the Commerce Department; it became the U.S. Maritime Commission; and President Franklin D. Roosevelt named Joseph P. Kennedy to serve as its first Chairman. In 1950, the regulatory programs of the U.S. Maritime Commission were transferred to the Federal Maritime Board at the Department of Commerce, where they resided until the FMC's creation in 1961.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:00
Thursday 08:30 - 17:00
Friday 08:30 - 17:00


(202) 523-5725



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