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Compromise Agreements with $297,500 in Penalties Announced by FMC

March 14, 2011

NR 11-04

Contact: Peter J. King, Director, Bureau of Enforcement (202-523-5783)
Media Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)

The Federal Maritime Commission today announced four compromise agreements recovering a total of $297,500 in civil penalties for alleged violations of the Shipping Act. The agreements were reached with five ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs), acting as non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs). The agreed penalties resulted from investigations conducted by the Commission’s Area Representatives in Los Angeles, South Florida, and Washington, D.C. 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.

"These penalties are the result of the Commission’s Area Representatives’ and Bureau of Enforcement’s hard work to protect the shipping public from fraud and unfair practices," said Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr.

The compromise agreements are:

Allied Transport Systems (USA), Inc. and Centurion Logistics Services Limited. Allied Transport Systems, doing business as Centurion Logistics Management, is a licensed NVOCC based in City of Industry CA, while Allied’s counterpart, Centurion Logistics Services Ltd., is an unlicensed, bonded foreign-based NVOCC located in Hong Kong. Commission staff alleged that the Centurion companies obtained ocean transportation at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by unlawfully accessing service contracts to which they were not a signatory, by misdescribing the commodities shipped, and by abusing rules and practices relating to equipment substitution. Under the terms of the compromise, the Centurion companies paid penalties of $150,000.

Atlantic Express Corp. Atlantic Express is a licensed NVOCC based in Bridgeview, IL. Commission staff alleged that Atlantic Express accepted numerous shipments of cargo from unlicensed and unbonded OTIs. Atlantic Express also allegedly violated section 10(b)(2) of the Shipping Act by failing to charge the rates in its published NVOCC tariff. Atlantic Express paid the Commission $70,000 in compromise of these allegations.

Prime Shipping International Inc. Prime Shipping International, dba Prime Agency, is a licensed NVOCC located in City of Industry, California. Commission staff alleged that Prime Agency obtained ocean transportation for property at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by unlawfully accessing service contracts to which it was not a signatory, and by misdescribing the commodities shipped. Prime Agency also allegedly violated section 10(b)(2) of the Shipping Act by failing to charge the rates in its published NVOCC tariff. Under the terms of the compromise, Prime Agency paid penalties of $45,000.

Speedy International LLC. Speedy International is a licensed NVOCC located in South San Francisco, California. Commission staff alleged that Speedy International obtained ocean transportation for property at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by unlawfully accessing service contracts to which it was not a signatory, and by misdescribing the commodities shipped. It was also alleged that Speedy International violated section 10(b)(2) of the Shipping Act by failing to charge the rates in its published NVOCC tariff. Speedy International made a payment of $32,500 in compromise of these allegations.

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.