In a rare showing of bipartisanship, the House and Senate this week overwhelmingly passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), sending the legislation to the President for signature. Included is a long fought-for provision which sets the path for the Harbor Maintenance Fee (paid by importers on ocean shipments) to be finally spent for its intended purpose: port dredging and maintenance projects.

Currently, only about half of the HMF is actually used for this purpose. The WRDA remedies this by requiring increasing percentages to be spent for the nation’s ports, starting with 67 percent in 2015 and increasing incrementally each year until it reaches 100 percent in 2025.

Information gathered from National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Associations of America, Inc.