Carriers fined part of FMC agreements
The Federal Maritime Commission said Thursday that as part of a series of compromise agreements it had levied fines against steamship lines and ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs) for alleged violations of the Shipping Act, including fines for Mediterranean Shipping Co., Seaboard Marine and two Miami-based OTIs.
Compromise agreements are similar to no contest pleas, in which defendants agree to penalties without directly admitting guilt to allegations.
The agreements totaled $732,000 and also included forwarder and OTI companies in New York, New Jersey, and California.
MSC was fined $280,000 for allegedly violating the Shipping Act by effectively transporting freight at rates below its tariff or service contracts by the 'unlawful use of equipment substitution' and by providing services that were not in accordance with tariffs or service contracts.
Seaboard was fined $200,000 for allegedly accepting cargo from OTIs that did not publish a non-vessel-operating common carrier tariff and have bonds or insurance as stipulated in the Shipping Act, and at the same time for allegedly entering into service contracts with OTIs that did not have the required NVOCC tariffs and bonds.
Miami-based America First International, which has an OTI license, was fined $25,000 for allegedly operating as an NVOCC without the required tariff, license, or proof of insurance.
Miami-based Sobe Enterprises, Inc., which has an OTI license, was fined $20,000 for allegedly operating as an NVOCC without the required tariff, license, or proof of insurance.