Companies Fined $350,000 for Shipping Act Violations
The Federal Maritime Commission announced March 12 separate compromise agreements with a vessel-operating common carrier based in Germany and three non-vessel operating common carriers based in California, New Jersey and Shenzhen (China). The FMC notes that the $350,000 in recovered civil penalties resulted from investigations conducted by the FMC’s area representatives in Los Angeles as well as Washington, D.C. headquarters staff.
The vessel operating common carrier was assessed a civil penalty of $190,000 to resolve allegations that since 2012 it operated pursuant to an unfiled space charter agreement with a small, regional carrier primarily involved in inter-Asia service. The California-based NVOCC received a $50,000 fine to resolve allegations that it knowingly and willfully obtained transportation at less than applicable rates by means of improperly accessing service contracts to which it was not a party. Finally, the N.J.-based and China-based NVOCCs jointly paid $110,000 for, in the case of the former, allegedly allowing the China-based NVOCC to access its service contracts and, in the case of the latter, allegedly obtaining transportation at less than applicable rates by gaining access to the contracts of the N.J.-based NVOCC.