FMC Collects $520,000 in Penalty Payments
The Federal Maritime Commission has completed compromise agreements with four ocean transportation intermediaries recovering a total of $520,000 in civil penalties.
The agreements were with both non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and freight forwarders and one vessel-operating common carrier.
Volkswagen Konzernlogistiks GmbH & Co., based in Wolfsburg, Germany, is a vessel-operating common carrier providing roll on-roll off services in the carriage of automobile and other rolling stock. Volkswagen Konzernlogistiks voluntarily disclosed that, over an extended period, it operated pursuant to unfiled space charters with other operators of ro/ro vessels, or pursuant to agreement amendments which were filed with the commission but not yet effective under the Shipping Act. VWKL paid $170,000 in penalties.
Orient Star Transport International Ltd., an NVOCC based in Taipei, Taiwan, and Ba-Shi Yuexin Logistics Development Co. Ltd, an NVOCC based in Alhambra, California, were alleged to have provided transportation to its customers at rates not in accordance with their tariffs and engaging in other unfair practices. Orient Star made a payment of $135,000 in compromise of these allegations, and agreed to cooperate with respect to ongoing investigations into the transportation activities of other parties.
Ba-Shi paid $100,000 in penalties.
Thornley & Pitt, Inc., a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder located in Millbrae, California, and Razor Cargo Services, a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder with offices in Jamaica, New York, were alleged to have knowingly obtained transportation at less than applicable rates by means of improperly obtaining access to service contracts to which the companies were not a party. Thornley & Pitt made a payment of $65,000. Razor paid $50,000.
“The agreements and penalties demonstrate the continued hard work and vigilance to protect the shipping public from fraud and unfair practices,” said FCC chair Mario Cordero. “Our objectives are to ensure fair trade and compliance by all segments of the maritime industry, vessel operators and OTIs alike.”
The freight forwarders and NVOCCs settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or commission regulations.