FMC collects $618,000 in penalty payments
The Federal Maritime Commission completed compromise agreements with eight non-vessel-operating common carriers, recovering a total of $618,000 in civil penalties. The agreed penalties resulted from investigations conducted by the commission’s area representatives in Houston, and New York/New Jersey, and by Washington, DC, headquarters staff. The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or commission regulations.
Separate compromise agreements were entered with Blue Cargo Group, LLC, Miami, FL, and Trans Orient Express, Inc., Los Angeles, California, both licensed NVOCCs; and with Bondex Logistics, Inc., a registered NVOCC based in China. It is alleged that each respondent knowingly and willfully obtained transportation at less than applicable rates and charges by improperly utilizing rates contained in service contracts limited to certain named shipper accounts for unrelated shipments of cargo. The compromise agreement with Bondex Logistics also alleged that it provided service in the liner trade that was not in accordance with its published tariff.
The compromise agreement with Jiangsu Feiliks International Logistics, Inc., a registered NVOCC located in China, alleged that the company knowingly and willfully allowed another NVOCC to access its service contracts and thereby unlawfully permitted a non-contract party to enjoy the benefits of service contracts contrary to the terms of its contract with the respective ocean common carrier.
A compromise agreement with North Star World Trade Service, Inc. of Mendota Heights, Minnesota, a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder, alleged that respondent operated without a qualifying individual for a period in excess of one year.
Separate compromise agreements with licensed NVOCCs Walmay Logistics, Inc. of Diamond Bar, California; Prime Shipping International, Inc. dba Prime Agency, City of Industry, California; and SWAT International, Inc. of Jamaica, New York, alleged that each respondent knowingly and willfully obtained transportation at less than applicable rates and charges by unlawfully accessing service contracts to which they were not a party. The compromise agreements also alleged that each respondent provided transportation in the liner trade that was not in accordance with its published tariff.