• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size


Letter to the Governor on Port Congestion Surcharges

E-mail Print

November 17, 2014

The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Brown,

On behalf of the Association of California Recycling Industries (ACRI) and the hundreds of men and women employed by our member-companies, we respectfully request your assistance in helping to resolve the labor dispute at Ports throughout California.  Unfortunately, over the last several days, importers and exporters have been experiencing severe challenges that are now threatening our industry's ability to meet California's recycling demands.

Since May, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have failed to reach an agreement.  As Ports are a critical component to California's economy, it is imperative that labor issues at the Ports be resolved immediately.  Because a labor agreement has not been reached, shipping companies are now charging "Port Congestion Surcharges" based on a "labor unrest" provision within the tariff schedule governed by the Federal Maritime Commission.  Our membership is strongly opposed to these costly and unwarranted surcharges. 

Governor, we respectfully request your assistance in helping to reach resolution at the Ports with the PMA and its ILWU workforce.  In addition, your assistance in urging the Federal Maritime Commission to immediately suspend implementation of the Port Congestion Surcharges would greatly be appreciated by California's importers and exporters. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration and leadership.


Kara Bouton

ACRI President

cc.     Chairman Mario Cordero, Federal Maritime Commission

Letter to the Federal Maritime Commission on Port Congestion Surcharges

E-mail Print

November 17, 2014

Chairman Mario Cordero

Federal Maritime Commission

800 N. Capitol Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20573

Dear Chairman Cordero and Commissioners,

On behalf of the Association of California Recycling Industries (ACRI), I respectfully request the Federal Maritime Commission (Commission) immediately begin taking action to suspend the implementation of all "Port Congestion Surcharges" being levied by ocean carriers.  We believe implementation of the surcharge is not warranted at this time, nor has the costly increase been appropriately justified, as required by the Commission.

The lack of a signed labor agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association does not warrant the implementation of the surcharge.  And while it is critical that an agreement quickly be reached, we do not believe a surcharge under the guise of "labor unrest" should be considered and ultimately initiated until it is fully evaluated by the Commission.

ACRI represents thousands of men and women who are employed by our member-companies in the recycling industry.  At a time when our economy is starting to experience signs of improvement, such a costly increase will undoubtedly be a risky proposition for most businesses.  Therefore, we respectfully request you take immediate action and suspend all Port Congestion Surcharges at this time.


Kara Bouton

ACRI President

cc.     Mr. Clark Oliver

         Los Angeles Area Representative

Fed Maritime Commission Statement on Port Surcharges

E-mail Print

Federal Maritime Commission releases statement on Port Congestion Surcharges. 

A Letter to the President Regarding the Port

E-mail Print

The link below will take you to the letter sent to the President of the United States regarding the growing concern of a West Coast Port strike.

2013/2014 State Legislative Recap

E-mail Print

At the end of August, the California State Legislature adjourned its 2013/2014 Session. More than 2,700 bills were introduced during the two-year cycle, and now legislators will return to their districts. ACRI monitored and aggressively engaged on numerous important issues during the last two years. Below is a brief recap. The Governor has until September 30 to either sign or veto pending legislation. If the Governor fails to either sign or veto a bill by September 30, the bill becomes law.

AB 841 – ACRI Opposed

Outcome: Vetoed by Governor

Passing the State Senate with a 30-6 vote and passing the Assembly with a 57-16 vote, this bill would have required a junk dealer or recycler to pay a seller of nonferrous materials by mailed check only. ACRI engaged in a public outreach effort to encourage the Governor to veto AB 841, as it would penalize law-abiding operators, while illegal transactions would continue to take place at locations that are currently not adhering to state law. ACRI was successful in reaching out to the Governor’s office requesting he veto the legislation. Despite its resounding support throughout the legislative process, AB 841 was vetoed.

AB 1846 – ACRI Supported

Outcome: Signed by Governor

Passing the Assembly 74-0 and the Senate 36-0, AB 1846 gives CalRecycle the ability to suspend/revoke eligibility of certified recycling centers to collect handling fees if they knowingly claim ineligible materials. With ACRI’s support, this legislation was approved unanimously by the Legislature and sent to the Governor.

AB 2251 – ACRI Supported

Outcome: Signed by Governor

Prohibit a dealer from charging an amount for a redemption payment for a beverage container that is greater than the amount set forth in the act. The bill would provide that a violation of this provision is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $100 when the overcharge is $1 or less. Requires a sealer to separately report any action taken to enforce this provision that results in a penalty being levied for a violation of the provision.

AB 2312 – ACRI Supported

Outcome: Signed by Governor

Passing the Assembly 73-0 and the Senate 33-1, AB 2312, sponsored by ISRI, requires recyclers to request to receive metal theft alert notifications from an internet-based theft alert system and requires a dealer/recycler to provide a statement that they have requested said notifications when seeking a weighmasters license.

AB 2313 – ACRI Opposed

Outcome: Failed in Committee

This bill required a great deal of mobilization. Amongst other things, AB 2313 sought to impose a 1% tax on scrap metals as a means of creating a new funding source intended to target metal theft. This bill passed the Assembly 66-3 and even worked its way through all the necessary Senate committees. However, working with the author, ACRI was successful in having the tax eliminated from the bill. Ultimately AB 2313 failed to move forward once the tax increase was identified by ACRI.

SB 485 - ACRI Supported

Outcome: Signed by Governor

While urging the Governor to veto AB 841, ACRI supported SB 485, a reasonable approach to enhanced enforcement. AB 841 requires recyclers to submit additional information regarding their dealer business to the CDFA when applying for a weighmaster’s license/renewal and requires the CDFA to complete a timely review. If the application is found to be materially inaccurate, CDFA has the authority to revoke/reject the license. With many protections built into the bill, this legislation was a rational response to the growing problem of metal theft in California without undue harms being shouldered by the recycling industry.

State Budget Bill – CRV Administrative Fees

Governor Brown sent his 2014/2015 State Budget proposal to the Legislature which included several provisions claiming to be cost-cutting measures to help balance the state’s $156 billion spending plan. Of particular note, the Governor requested legislative approval to eliminate $25 million in fees that are paid to business owners for administering the State’s recycling program. ACRI executed a comprehensive outreach plan, with members sending letters, signing petitions and making phone calls to key legislative offices. Ultimately the fees were protected. This was an important victory, as recyclers were not forced to shoulder the costs for administering the State’s program.

If you would like more information these or other legislative matters, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Page 4 of 10