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Compromise Agreements Recover $490,000 in Penalties

February 15, 2012

NR 12-02

 

Contact: Peter J. King, Director, Bureau of Enforcement (202-523-5783)

Media Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)

The Federal Maritime Commission has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $490,000 in civil penalties. The agreements were reached with eight non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and with related companies. The agreed penalties resulted from investigations conducted by the Commission’s Area Representatives in New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles. 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 protect the shipping public from fraud and unfair practices. If you defraud customers, mislabel cargo, or otherwise violate the Shipping Act, they will be looking for you."

The compromise agreements are:       

Orient Express Container Co. Ltd, OEC Freight (NY) Inc., and O.E.C. Shipping Los Angeles, Inc. Orient Express Container is a tariffed and bonded NVOCC located in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. OEC NY is a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder located in Rosedale, New York. OEC Los Angeles is likewise a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder, located in Cerritos, California. Commission staff alleged that Orient Express Container, OEC NY and OEC Los Angeles violated the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully applying reduced rates in service contracts, contrary to contract provisions limiting application of such reduced rates to certain "named accounts." Orient Express Container also violated the Shipping Act by providing service that was not in accordance with the rates or charges contained in its NVOCC tariff. The three companies made payment to the Commission in the amount of $235,000.

Solex Logistics Inc. Solex Logistics is a licensed and bonded NVOCC located in Inglewood, California. Commission staff alleged that Solex Logistics violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully misdescribing cargo under applicable service contracts, and violated section 10(b)(2) by failing to charge its applicable NVOCC rates. Under the terms of the compromise, Solex Logistics paid $105,000.

Pan-Link International Corp. and Pacific Star International Logistics (China) Co. Ltd. Pan-Link is a licensed and bonded NVOCC based in Lynbrook, New York. Pacific Star is a foreign unlicensed NVOCC located in Dalian, China. Commission staff alleged that Pan-Link and Pacific Star violated the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining ocean freight transportation at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by misdescribing cargo under applicable service contracts. Pan-Link and Pacific Star made a payment of $75,000 in compromise of these allegations.

JIF Logistics Inc. JIF Logistics is a licensed NVOCC located in Jamaica NY. Commission staff alleged that JIF Logistics knowingly and willfully misdescribed commodities under its applicable service contracts, in violation of section 10(a)(1). JIF paid a penalty of $40,000 in compromise of these allegations.

Wanda Shipping Company Inc. and Heng Shen USA Inc. Wanda Shipping was a licensed and bonded NVOCC at the time of the alleged violations, and was based in Rosedale, New York. Heng Shen is a related company that operates as a trading company, located in Syosset, New York. Commission staff alleged that Wanda Shipping and Heng Shen violated the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation under service contracts to which they were not a party, and that Wanda Shipping unlawfully allowed others to obtain transportation using Wanda’s corporate name and service contracts. Under the terms of the compromise, Wanda Shipping and Heng Shen paid the Commission $35,000.

The Federal Maritime Commission 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.