NVO takes FESCO complaint to the FMC
Trans-Net Inc., a non-vessel-operating common carrier, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission about alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984 and other competition regulations by the Russian shipping line FESCO Management Ltd.
Trans-Net, as complainant, contends that FESCO violated several sections of the Shipping Act of 1984, of the United States Code and 46 Code of Federal Regulations 535.901 of the FMC’s regulations.
Specifically, the NVO alleged that the carrier:
* Operated under and failed to file with the commission a connecting carrier agreement.
* Misrepresented its carrier status and implemented unlawful agreements to obtain ocean transportation at unpublished rates that were less than would otherwise apply.
* Failed to operate in accordance with the terms and conditions of a space charter agreement on file with the commission.
* Failed to provide service in accordance with the rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices contained in its tariff.
* Engaged in retaliatory actions against Trans-Net.
* Failed to establish and maintain reasonable regulations and practices in connection with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property.
* Operated as an NVO without an ocean transportation intermediary license or proof of financial responsibility.
As a direct result of these allegations, Trans-Net claims it has suffered and will continue to suffer substantial ongoing economic damages and injury.
The NVO is asking the FMC to issue an order finding FESCO to have violated the Shipping Act and the commission’s regulations; directing the carrier to cease and desist and awarding reparations, including interest and attorney’s fees.
In an official notice, the FMC said it has assigned this case to its Office of Administrative Law Judges.
“Hearing in this matter, if any is held, shall commence within the time limitations prescribed in 46 CFR 502.61, and only after consideration has been given by the parties and the presiding officer to the use of alternative forms of dispute resolution,” the FMC said.
The initial decision of the presiding officer in this proceeding shall be issued by July 1, 2005 and a final decision of the FMC shall be issued by Oct. 1, 2005.