Billing Updates in Per Diem Invoices: Navigating Regulatory Shifts

Navigating Regulatory Shifts: Billing Updates in Per Diem Invoices
Author PhotoDana Ricksecker - May 29, 2024

Navigating the intricacies of per diem billing can be a daunting task for many in the logistics and shipping industry. With ever-changing laws and regulations, shippers and carriers continue to face challenges.

On February 28th, 2024, The Federal Maritime Commission made a final ruling on Per Diem billing requirements, set to go into effect on May 28, 2024. This ruling will impact all individuals who are currently shipping ocean freight as it will adjust current practices for billing timeliness, the billed party and the documentation requirements.

The Timeline of Per Diem Billing

With the FMC’s new ruling, invoicing all per diem invoices within 30 days becomes mandatory. After receiving the per diem invoice, the recipient has 30 days to file a dispute. All disputes now have a 30-day turnaround time, during which the ocean carrier or terminal must attempt to find a resolution. This timeline aims to streamline the billing process, provide ample opportunity for dispute resolution, and ensure that all parties address discrepancies efficiently.

Updates of the Bill-to Party Policy

The new billing guidelines specify that per diem charges will only issue to either the person who contracted for the ocean transportation and cargo storage services or the ultimate recipient of the cargo (the consignee). This policy replaces the former practice of billing the drayage carrier, aiming to make the process more straightforward. By focusing on those who have a direct contractual relationship with the billing party, the new system seeks to enhance transparency and accountability in financial transactions.

New Billing Documentation Requirements

Under the updated documentation requirements for billing, invoices must be thorough and precise. Each invoice must contain identifiable information to clearly indicate the parties involved. It should also include comprehensive details regarding the timing of the services rendered or charges incurred. The rate information must be clearly stated to avoid any confusion about the billing amounts. Additionally, all invoices should include clear guidance on how to file a dispute, ensuring that the process for resolving any issues is straightforward and accessible. Failure by the billing party to comply with documentation or timing requirements releases the billed party from their obligation to pay.

What to Expect

With the updated rules in place, tracking dates that containers are pulled and returned to the port/rail yard is imperative in mitigating additional charges. The continued success of moving ocean freight containers relies on a team of experts who grasp the importance and details of these new regulations. Instead of getting caught up in the complexities, let BlueGrace take care of it all, giving you peace of mind and more time to focus on your business.

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