The FMC said it reached compromise agreements with five NVOCCs, two unlicensed transport businesses and one vessel operator.
Chairman Mario Cordero said the Federal Maritime Commission has completed compromise agreements with five NVOCCs, two unlicensed transport businesses and one vessel-operating common carrier that were accused of Shipping Act violations or violations of FMC regulations. The agency has recovered a total of $503,000 in civil penalties.
The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations.
“These settlement agreements and the penalties collected demonstrate the continued hard work and vigilance of the commission’s Area Representatives and Bureau of Enforcement to protect the shipping public from fraud and unfair practices in its many forms,” said Cordero. “The commission will act vigorously to detect and penalize these threats to cargo security and the shipping public as well as crack down on unlicensed entities, a growing problem in the industry.”
The compromise agreements are with:
- Hayek Services, Inc., a transport business entity based in Miami that allegedly violated sections 19(a) and 19(b) of the Shipping Act by acting as a freight forwarder without obtaining a license as an ocean transportation intermediary from the Federal Maritime Commission, and without providing the commission evidence of a bond or other form of security. Hayek made a payment of $20,000.
- ABC Trucking and Logistics, LLC, a transport business entity that allegedly violated sections 8, 19(a) and 19(b) of the Shipping Act by acting as an NVOCC without obtaining a license, without providing the commission evidence of a bond, and without publishing a tariff. ABC made a payment of $23,000.
- FCC Logistics, Inc., dba GOF, a licensed and bonded NVOCC that allegedly violated section 10(a)(1) by obtaining transportation at less than applicable rates by means of improperly accessing service contracts to which it was not a party, and by not correctly describing goods and incorrectly declaring the names of shipper accounts under certain service contracts. FCC made a payment of $70,000.
- Sea Central Shipping, Corp., is a licensed and bonded NVOCC that allegedly accepted cargo from, and transported cargo for, ocean transportation intermediaries that didn’t have published tariffs or surety bonds, a violation of section 10(b)(11) of the Shipping Act. Sea Central made a payment of $85,000.
- China Container Line, Ltd., and China Container Line (SHA), Ltd. China Container Line Ltd. is an NVOCC and freight forwarder located in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., while China Container Line is located in Shanghai. The FMC alleged that China Container Line and China Container Line both violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by buying transportation at less than applicable rates by misdescribing commodities and misrepresenting the names of shipper accounts. Together, the firms paid $100,000.
- Orient Star Transport International, Ltd., a tariffed and bonded NVOCC, violated section 10(a)(1) by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation at less than applicable rates by misrepresenting the names of shipper accounts under certain service contracts. The FMC said it appeared that Orient Star Transport also provided transportation in the liner trade that was not in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in its published NVOCC tariff, in violation of section 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act. Orient Star Transport paid $100,000.
- Eastern Car Liner, Ltd., a vessel-operating common carrier, allegedly operated an unfiled space charter agreement with another ocean common carrier with respect to inbound shipments of steel and wire rod to the U.S. Gulf and East Coast, in violation of 10(a)(2) of the Shipping Act. It said the agreement has since been filed with the commission. It appeared that the carrier also provided service not in accordance with its filed service contracts or published tariff, in violation of 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act. Eastern Car Liner made a payment of $105,000.