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FMC Recovers $503,000 to Settle Alleged Violations by Forwarders, NVOCCs

Monday, October 13, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Maritime Commission announced Oct. 10 the recovery of $503,000 in civil penalties to settle charges that five non-vessel-operating common carriers, two unlicensed transport businesses and one carrier committed various violations of the Shipping Act or FMC regulations.

- A Florida-based transport business entity paid $20,000 to settle charges that it acted as a freight forwarder without obtaining a license as an ocean transportation intermediary and without providing evidence of a bond or other form of security.

- A transport business entity with offices in Georgia paid $23,000 to settle charges that it acted as an NVOCC without obtaining an OTI license, providing evidence of a bond or other form of security or publishing a tariff.

- A licensed and bonded NVOCC located in California paid $70,000 to settle charges 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 and by misdescribing commodities and misdeclaring the names of shipper accounts under certain service contracts.

- A licensed and bonded NVOCC located in Florida paid $85,000 to settle charges that it accepted cargo from, and transported cargo for, the account of OTIs, none of which had a published tariff or surety bond.

- A licensed and bonded NVOCC and freight forwarder located in California and a registered and bonded NVOCC located in China jointly paid $100,000 to settle charges that they knowingly and willfully obtained transportation at less than applicable rates by misdescribing commodities and misrepresenting the names of shipper accounts under certain service contracts.

- A tariffed and bonded NVOCC based in Taiwan paid $100,000 to settle charges that it knowingly and willfully obtained transportation at less than applicable rates by misrepresenting the names of shipper accounts under certain service contracts and provided transportation in the liner trade that was not in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in its published NVOCC tariff.

- A VOCC based in Japan paid $105,000 to settle charges that it operated pursuant to an unfiled space charter agreement with another ocean common carrier with respect to inbound shipments of steel and wire rod to the U.S. Gulf and East coasts and that it provided service not in accordance with its filed service contracts or published tariff.

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