The Federal Maritime Commission announced earlier this month compromise agreements with eight NVOCCs and related companies that will result in a total of $490,000 in civil penalties. The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or FMC regulations.
The agreements were with:
- Orient Express Container Co. Ltd, a tariffed and bonded NVOCC located in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, OEC Freight (NY) Inc., a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder located in Rosedale, New York, and O.E.C. Shipping Los Angeles, Inc., a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder, located in Cerritos, California. FMC staff alleged the three companies violated the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully applying reduced rates in service contracts, contrary to contract provisions limiting application of such reduced rates to certain “named accounts.” They also alleged Orient Express Container provided service that was not in accordance with the rates or charges contained in its NVOCC tariff. The three companies paid the FMC $235,000.
- Solex Logistics Inc., a licensed and bonded NVOCC located in Inglewood, California. FMC staff alleged Solex violated sections of the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully misdescribing cargo under applicable service contracts, and failing to charge its applicable NVOCC rates. Under the terms of the compromise, Solex Logistics paid $105,000.
- Pan-Link International Corp., a licensed and bonded NVOCC based in Lynbrook, New York, and Pacific Star International Logistics (China) Co. Ltd, a foreign unlicensed NVOCC located in Dalian, China. FMC staff alleged that Pan-Link and Pacific Star knowingly and willfully obtained ocean freight transportation at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by misdescribing cargo under applicable service contracts. Pan-Link and Pacific Star made a payment of $75,000 in compromise of these allegations.
- JIF Logistics Inc., a licensed NVOCC located in New York. FMC staff alleged that JIF Logistics knowingly and willfully misdescribed commodities under its applicable service contracts. JIF paid a penalty of $40,000 in compromise of these allegations.
- Wanda Shipping Company Inc., a licensed and bonded NVOCC at the time of the alleged violations, based in Rosedale, New York and Heng Shen USA Inc., a related company that operates as a trading company, located in Syosset, New York. FMC staff alleged the two firms knowingly and willfully obtained transportation under service contracts to which they were not a party, and that Wanda Shipping unlawfully allowed others to obtain transportation using Wanda’s corporate name and service contracts. Under the terms of the compromise, Wanda Shipping and Heng Shen paid the Commission $35,000.