Compromise Agreements Recover $383,000 in Penalties
November 14, 2012
Contact: Peter J. King, Director, Bureau of Enforcement (202-523-5783)
Media Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)
The Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. announced that the Federal Maritime Commission has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $383,000 in civil penalties for alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984. The agreements were reached with six non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) located in the U.S. and abroad. The agreed penalties resulted from investigations conducted by the Commission’s Area Representatives in the New York, South Florida, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. headquarters offices. Staff attorneys with the Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the compromise agreements. The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Act or the Commission’s regulations.
In making the announcement, Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr., stated: "The Commission’s Area Representatives and Bureau of Enforcement are working hard to enforce provisions of the Shipping Act, which protects the shipping public from fraud and unfair practices. If you misrepresent or defraud customers, mislabel cargo, or otherwise violate the Shipping Act, you will pay the price."
The compromise agreements are:
King Shipping Company: King Shipping Company is a bonded and tariffed NVOCC located in the People’s Republic of China. Commission staff alleged that King Shipping violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation under service contracts to which King Shipping was not a party, and through the further device of misdescribing the cargo or falsely declaring the cargo to be shipped on behalf of a named account in the service contract. In addition, King Shipping violated section 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act by providing service other than at the rates and charges in its tariff. King Shipping made a payment of $100,000 in compromise of these allegations.
American Freight Line – Southeast, Inc.: American Freight Line is a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Commission staff alleged that American Freight Line violated section 10 (b)(11) of the Shipping Act by providing service to unlicensed or unbonded NVOCCs in the shipment of used automobiles to West Africa. Under the terms of the compromise, American Freight Line paid $85,000.
Greating Shipping Company: Greating Shipping Co., is a licensed NVOCC located in Alhambra, CA. It was alleged that Greating Shipping violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining ocean transportation for property at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by the device or means of misdescription of the commodities shipped under certain service contracts with K-Line. Greating Shipping made a payment of $68,000 in compromise of these allegations.
Proshipping Group Corp.: Proshipping Group Corp., is a licensed and bonded NVOCC located in City of Industry, CA. Commission staff alleged that Proshipping violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation under service contracts to which Proshipping was not a contract signatory, and violated section 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act by providing service other than at the rates and charges in its tariff. Proshipping made a payment of $60,000 in compromise of these allegations.
U.S. Pacific Transport Inc.: U.S. Pacific Transport Inc. (USPTI) is a licensed and bonded NVOCC based in Jamaica, NY. It was alleged that USPTI violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act with respect to import shipments from China by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation of property by means of using service contracts to which USPTI was not a party, and by misdescribing commodities under service contracts to which it was a contract signatory. Under the terms of the compromise, USPTI paid $50,000.
Icon Logistics Service LLC.: Icon Logistics Service LLC is a business entity based in Laurel, MD. It was alleged that Icon Logistics violated sections 8, 19(a) and 19(b) of the Shipping Act by acting as a NVOCC without obtaining a license as a ocean transportation intermediary from the Federal Maritime Commission, without providing the FMC evidence of a bond, insurance or other form of security and without publishing an electronic tariff. Icon Logistics also agreed to seek licensed OTI status at the earliest possible time. Under the terms of the compromise, Icon Logistics paid $20,000.
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.