The Federal Maritime Commission has completed seven compromise agreements with nine non-vessel-operating common carriers and freight forwarders, recovering a total of $617,500 in civil penalties.
The penalties resulted from alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984, after FMC’s area representatives conducted investigations in the Seattle, South Florida, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. headquarters offices. Bureau of Enforcement staff attorneys negotiated the deals, and the parties settled and agreed to penalties, although they did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act.
The compromise agreements were as follows:
- East-West Logistics — $55,000 — allegations of misdescribing commodities shipped under certain service contracts to avoid higher rates, improperly obtaining reduced rates and providing service at rates other than in its NVOCC tariff.
- Versatile International Corp., doing business as King Yang Shipping — $55,000 — allegations of cargo misdescription activities involving inbound shipments to the U.S. West Coast and for providing services not in accordance with its NVOCC tariff.
- Whale Logistics — $70,000 — allegations of obtaining transportation under contracts to which it was not a party and providing liner transportation for rates not in accordance its published tariffs.
- Koil, doing business as VShip Co. — $75,000 — allegations of transporting cargo for ocean transportation intermediaries that did not have a published tariff or bond and providing services for rates not in accordance with its published tariff.
- China International Freight — $80,000 — allegations of falsely declaring cargo to obtain lower rates.
- UTi, United States — $140,000 — allegations of failing to maintain a general tariff covering all points or ports on its own routes and established through transportation routes.
- Top Shipping Logistics, City Ocean Logistics and City Ocean International — $142,500 — allegations of providing a false U.S. inland destination point for inbound shipments to receive lower rates, allowing City Ocean Logistics to access service contracts under which it was not a signatory and providing liner transportation for rates not in accordance with their published tariffs.
“The commission remains committed to protecting the shipping public from unfair and deceptive practices,” said Mario Cordero, FMC chairman, in a written statement.