Federal Maritime Commission
independent agency in the executive branch charged with regulating the marine commerce of the United States. The FMC ensures that ocean carriers, shipping terminals, and marine operators are in compliance with federal shipping statutes; reviews service contracts and tariffs for compliance with laws (such as shipping laws and antitrust laws); issues freight licenses; administers passenger indemnity programs; monitors steamship conferences (commercial associations among shipping companies) to detect any unauthorized, concerted activity; conducts financial audits; investigates and adjudicates complaints; and generally ensures that waterborne foreign and domestic trade in the United States is conducted in a fair and equitable manner. No more than three of its five appointed commissioners may belong to the same political party.
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