FMC ASSESSES $1.53 MILLION CIVIL PENALTY AGAINST GREEM MASTER
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission has assessed a $1.53-million civil penalty against Taiwanese non-vessel-operating common carrier Green Master International Freight Services for alleged violations of the 1984 Shipping Act.
The FMC’s administrative law judge (ALJ) found that evidence obtained by the agency’s Bureau of Enforcement “demonstrated that Green Master knowingly and willfully obtained ocean transportation at less than the applicable rates by accessing service contracts to which it was neither a signatory nor an affiliate of a signatory 48 times from 1998-1999.”
The ALJ also said the Bureau of Enforcement “argued convincingly that it was likely that the shippers believed that they were dealing only with Green Master because Green Master issued its bills of lading for the shipments.”
The ALJ’s penalty was determined to be “adequate to serve as a deterrent, but not excessive.”
“In addition, it appears that Green Master is in healthy financial condition and is able to pay the assessed penalty,” the FMC said.