Federal Maritime Commission Collects $840,000 In Penalty Payments
The Federal Maritime Commission has announced that it has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $840,000 in civil penalties with five ocean transportation intermediaries. The intermediaries included both non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and freight forwarders.
The agreed penalties resulted from investigations conducted by the FMC’s area representatives in Seattle, Miami, Houston and New York, and by Washington D.C. headquarters staff. The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or Commission regulations.
Hecny Shipping Limited, a registered foreign-based NVOCC headquartered in Hong Kong, made a payment of $300,000 in compromise of allegations it obtained ocean transportation for property at less than the rates and charges otherwise applicable by misrepresenting the ownership of the cargo. Hecny Shipping also was alleged to have provided OTI services to its customers at rates not in accordance with its NVOCC tariff.
American Global Logistics, an Atlanta-based NVOCC, was accused of improperly obtaining access to service contracts, including those of ocean carriers UASC, COSCO, Evergreen, Zim, and Yang Ming, to which AGL was not a signatory. FMC staff also alleged that AGL provided transportation to its customers at rates not in accordance with AGL’s NVOCC tariff. Under the terms of the compromise, AGL paid $350,000.
Round The World Logistics, a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder located in Dallas, was alleged to have unfairly utilized rates limited to certain named accounts under an Evergreen service contract. Round The World Logistics made a payment of $80,000 in compromise of these allegations.
Commission staff alleged that Walker International Transportation, a licensed freight forwarder and NVOCC based in Valley Stream, N.Y., improperly obtained access to MSC and Zim service contracts to which Walker International was not a party. Walker International paid $60,000 in compromise of these allegations.
Razor Cargo Services, an NVOCC and freight forwarder located in Jamaica, N.Y., allegedly obtained access to a Safmarine/Maersk service contract to which Razor Cargo Services was not a party. Staff also alleged that Razor Cargo Services provided transportation to its customers at rates not in accordance with its NVOCC tariff. Under the terms of the compromise, Razor Cargo Services paid $50,000 in compromise of these allegations.