Commerce Report and Recommendations on Port Competitiveness

The U.S. Department of Commerce has published a report on port and supply chain best practices as a part of the 21st century U.S. port competitiveness initiative. The report and recommendations are in response to issues raised by industry, including increasing trade volumes, vessel sizes, and supply chain complexity. The report emphasizes the critical role of seaport productivity in the country’s international commercial competitiveness and the effect of congestion on U.S. economic performance. Recommendations for improving U.S. port competitiveness include working groups, information sharing, operational improvements, worker skills, and private sector partnerships to ease port congestion.


A summary of the report can be found here.

BIMCO Terminal Survey

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) 2016 Dry Bulk Terminals Vetting Report is now available. The report uses questionnaire responses to analyze dry bulk terminal performance and offer statistical data to guide future planning. Analysis includes ranking of over 200 terminals world-wide based on overall experience, ease of loading/unloading, mooring arrangements, ship-terminal communication, area and equipment, and terminal services among other metrics.


The questionnaire and vetting report can be found in PDF format here and here.

Executive Order on TPP

On Monday, January 23 President Trump signed his first trade related executive order – withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the 12-nation trade agreement negotiated and signed by President Obama.


The future of the agreement is now uncertain with the U.S. withdrawal. The agreements entry into force would only occur if six of the twelve original parties making up over 85 percent of the original signatory’s gross domestic product were to ratify the accord. The withdrawal of the U.S. means that achieving the 85 percent threshold is now impossible.


More information on the agreement can be found here.

DBTG Executive Committee Meeting

On January 10-13 NAEGA Senior Advisor Jerry Cotter traveled to Gijon, Spain to participate in a meeting of the Dry Bulk Terminals Group (DBTG) Executive Committee meeting on January 11. Through his position on the DBTG Executive Committee, Mr. Cotter acts to lead and contribute his significant expertise on the international measures related to GRNOS cargoes labeling and handling and global industry efforts to monitor and engage in several critical aspects related to transportation. Over the past year, Mr. Cotter has been working closely with the International Bulk Terminals Association (IBTA), the sister organization of the DBTG, to address and inform on the activities of the GHS and IMO Committee on the Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC). Both bodies are addressing explosive dust cargoes and relevant shipment materials designations and management.  


A copy of the notice to post for this travel is available here. A trip report for this mission will soon be available.

GHS Subcommittee Meeting

On December 7-9, 2016 Jess McCluer, NAEGA Volunteer and NGFA Vice-President for Safety and Regulatory Affairs, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to attend a meeting of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals and Dust Explosion Hazards Correspondence Group (CG). In Geneva, Mr. McCluer monitored developments in the Correspondence Group and at the Subcommittee, reported on the effects that amendments to the GHS could have on the global bulk grain trade and provided recommendations for action. A copy of the GHS Subcommittee agenda can be found here. More details on NAEGA actions in the CG and at the Subcommittee meeting can be found in the trip report here.

North American Trade Letter

On Monday, January 23 NAEGA, along with over 130 other organizations representing a broad cross-section of the U.S. food and agriculture industry, sent a letter to President Donald Trump regarding the importance of trade and the North American marketplace. The letter, addressed to the President and distributed to key people within the White House, U.S. Departments of Treasury, Agriculture, and Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative and the Canadian and Mexican Embassies, expresses the undersigned organizations desire to work with the Administration to preserve and expand on the gains achieved by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during any renegotiation or modernization. A copy of the letter can be found here.
Over the past few months NAEGA has been working closely with the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade, an off the record broad based open forum that convenes as needed to discuss U.S. agriculture’s interests in trade, to communicate with the Trump Administration regarding the benefits of trade to the U.S. food and agriculture sector. As the Trump Administration gets settled, NAEGA plans to continue its leadership role in the Dialogue and in efforts to preserve and modernize trade in North America, the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

Asia-Pacific Trade Letter – Signatures Requested

NAEGA member company signatures are requested on a letter to the Trump Administration regarding the benefits of trade in the Asia-Pacific region. A copy of the letter can be found here. Please contact Ryan ( or 202-682-4030) if you are interested in signing.
Recent events, including Monday’s executive order regarding the Trump Administration’s intention to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, highlight the urgent need to communicate with the Administration on the benefits of trade. Through this letter and others, NAEGA is continuing its leadership in the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade’s efforts to reinforce the industry’s desire to preserve and enhance U.S. trade relations.

NAEGA Member Promo Rate for NGFA Convention

All NAEGA member personnel are invited to take advantage of a special $250 promotional rate for the NGFA Convention. In addition, spouses are invited to attend for a special rate of $200. This special rate includes the CoBank Welcome reception on Sunday, March 19 and all events on Monday, March 20, including the Grand Opening breakfast and the Bunge North America Reception.

Events Included in NAEGA Promo Rate
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All events to take place at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel - 
500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA

If you are interested in taking advantage of this special promotional rate, please use the following codes during registration.

Register here for the NGFA Convention
Member personnel code ($250): NAEGA2017
NAEGA Spouse Code ($200): NAEGASPOUSE

Ballast Water Management

With the recent ratification by New Zealand, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention on Ballast Water Management (BWM Convention), will be officially implemented beginning in September 2017. Once in force, the convention requires ship-owners to manage their ballast water on every voyage by exchanging or treating it using an approved ballast water treatment system. These regulations apply to all ships with the exception of military vessels.


A more detailed report by the International Dry Bulk Terminals Group on the likely impact of the implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention on Ballast Water Management (BWM Convention) can be found here. Please contact Gary or Ryan if you have any questions about compliance with the convention.

FGIS Inspection and Service Fees

On December 30, the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) reduced its Official Inspection and Weighing Fees for 2017 based on operating reserves that exceed 4.5 months of operating expenses. However, FGIS also announced that it is increasing its National Tonnage fee to $.006, almost ten percent from 2016. This increased tonnage fee for 2017 reflect a nearly 16 percent increase in FGIS administrative costs in 2016, from $6.2 million in 2015 to $7.2 million last year.

Throughout implementation of the 2015 Grain Standards Act, which adjusted how FGIS determines fees, NAEGA and NGFA have continually urged the FGIS to bring its field office expenses, and resultant fees, in line with those of official agencies that provide inspection and weighing services, including through these comments on Grain Standards Act implementation