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Compromise Agreements Recover $503,000 in Penalties

October 10, 2014

NR NR 14-13

Chairman Mario Cordero announced that the Federal Maritime Commission has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $503,000 in civil penalties. The agreements were reached with five non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs), two unlicensed transport businesses and one vessel-operating common carrier. The agreed penalties resulted from investigations conducted by the Commission’s Area Representatives in Miami and Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. headquarters staff. The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or the Commission’s regulations.

In making the announcement, Chairman Cordero stated: "These settlement agreements and the penalties collected demonstrate the continued hard work and vigilance of the Commission’s Area Representatives and Bureau of Enforcement to protect the shipping public from fraud and unfair practices in its many forms. The Commission will act vigorously to detect and penalize these threats to cargo security and the shipping public as well as crack down on unlicensed entities, a growing problem in the industry."

The compromise agreements are:

Hayek Services Inc.

Hayek Services Inc. is a transport business entity based in Miami, FL. It was alleged that Hayek Services violated sections 19(a) and 19(b) of the Shipping Act by acting as a freight forwarder without obtaining a license as a ocean transportation intermediary from the Federal Maritime Commission, and without providing the Commission evidence of a bond or other form of security. Hayek Services made a payment of $20,000 in compromise of these allegations.

ABC Trucking and Logistics LLC.

ABC Trucking and Logistics LLC is a transport business entity with offices in Atlanta, GA. It was alleged that ABC Trucking and Logistics violated sections 8, 19(a) and 19(b) of the Shipping Act by acting as a non-vessel-operating common carrier without obtaining a license as a ocean transportation intermediary from the Federal Maritime Commission, without providing the Commission evidence of a bond or other form of security, and without publishing a tariff. ABC Trucking and Logistics made a payment of $23,000 in compromise of these allegations.

FCC Logistics Inc. dba GOF

Logistics Group. FCC Logistics Inc. is a licensed and bonded NVOCC located in Rancho Dominguez, CA. Commission staff alleged that FCC Logistics violated section 10(a)(1) by knowingly and willfully obtaining 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. Under the terms of the compromise, FCC Logistics paid $70,000.

Sea Central Shipping Corp.

Sea Central Shipping Corp is a licensed and bonded NVOCC located in Tampa FL. Commission staff alleged that Sea Central accepted cargo from, and transported cargo for, the account of ocean transportation intermediaries, none of which had a published tariff or surety bond, in violation of section 10(b)(11) of the Shipping Act. Under the terms of the compromise, Sea Central paid $85,000.

China Container Line Ltd. and China Container Line (SHA) Ltd.

China Container Line Ltd. is a licensed and bonded NVOCC and freight forwarder located in Santa Fe Springs, CA. China Container Line (SHA) Ltd. is a registered and bonded NVOCC located in Shanghai, PRC. Commission staff alleged that China Container Line and China Container Line (SHA) both violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation at less than applicable rates by misdescribing commodities and misrepresenting the names of shipper accounts under certain service contracts. Under the terms of the compromise, China Container Line and China Container Line (SHA) jointly paid $100,000.

Orient Star Transport International Ltd.

Orient Star Transport International Ltd. is a tariffed and bonded NVOCC based in Taipei, Taiwan. Commission staff alleged that Orient Star Transport violated section 10(a)(1) by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation at less than applicable rates by misrepresenting the names of shipper accounts under certain service contracts. It appeared that Orient Star Transport also provided transportation in the liner trade that was not in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in its published NVOCC tariff, in violation of section 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act. Under the terms of the compromise, Orient Star Transport paid $100,000.

Eastern Car Liner Ltd.

Eastern Car Liner Ltd. is a vessel-operating common carrier based in Tokyo, Japan. Commission staff alleged that Eastern Car Liner 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 Coast, in violation of 10(a)(2) of the Shipping Act. This agreement has since been filed with the Commission. It appeared that the carrier also provided service not in accordance with its filed service contracts or published tariff, in violation of 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act. Eastern Car Liner made a payment of $105,000 in compromise of these allegations.