FMC ORDERS SINOTRANS TO FILE INFORMATION BY MAY 26
Having already missed one deadline, China National Foreign Trade Transportation Group (Sinotrans) has until May 26 to file information with the Federal Maritime Commission so the agency can determine if the company is directly owned or controlled by the Chinese government and is operating as an ocean common carrier in the U.S. trades.
Sinotrans failed to meet an April 30 deadline set by the FMC for the trade data. Failure to comply with the request could result in fines of up to $27,500 per day, the FMC said.
The FMC wants to determine if the company meets the agency’s recently refined definition of an ocean common carrier. In a final rule, the FMC said a carrier must operate a vessel and call at one U.S. port from a foreign port to qualify as a ocean common carrier — and eligible to operate with antitrust immunity under carrier agreements and to sign service contracts with shippers. If Sinotrans does not meet the FMC’s criteria, the company would have to be classified as a non-vessel-operating common carrier.
As a Chinese-owned entity, Sinotrans would be regulated under controlled-carrier provisions of the Shipping Act of 1984.