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FMC Announces Compromise Agreements

November 30, 2006

NR 06-06

CONTACT: VERN W. HILL, DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF ENFORCEMENT (202) 523-5783

The Federal Maritime Commission today announced compromised agreements recovering civil penalties in the amount of $732,000. The agreements were reached with vessel-operating common carriers ("VOCC") and licensed and unlicensed ocean transportation intermediaries ("OTI"), acting both as non-vessel-operating common carriers ("NVOCC") and ocean freight forwarders. The compromise agreements are:

America First International, Inc. America First International, Inc. ("America First") is a licensed ocean transportation intermediary located in Miami, Florida. It was alleged that America First violated sections 8(a) and 19 of the Shipping Act of 1984 ("1984 Act") by operating as a non-vessel-operating common carrier ("NVOCC") without publishing a tariff, obtaining a license, and furnishing the requisite proof of insurance. In compromise of these allegations, America First paid a civil penalty of $25,000.

Interglobo Morra N.A. Inc., A.L.S. Associazione Logistica Spedizionieri S.R.L. and Interglobo Queirolo USA Inc. Interglobo Morra N.A. Inc. is a licensed freight forwarder located in Jersey City, New Jersey. A.L.S. Associazione Logistica Spedizionieri S.R.L. ("A.L.S.") is a foreign NVOCC located in Genoa, Italy. Interglobo Queirolo USA Inc. is unlicensed. Interglobo Morra N.A. Inc. allegedly violated Section 19(e)(3) by serving as agent for A.L.S. and receiving compensation for shipments made on behalf of A.L.S. A.L.S. allegedly violated Section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by misdeclaring shipment measurements to obtain discounts under equipment substitution provisions. Interglobo Queirolo USA Inc. allegedly violated Sections 19(a) and (b) of the Shipping Act by operating as an ocean transportation intermediary in the United States trades without obtaining a license and furnishing the requisite proof of financial responsibility. In compromise of these allegations, Interglobo Morra N.A. Inc., A.L.S. and Interglobo Queirolo USA Inc. together paid a civil penalty in the amount of $110,000.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (U.S.A.), Inc. Mediterranean Shipping Company (U.S.A.), Inc. ("MSC"), a vessel-operating common carrier, allegedly allowed other persons to obtain ocean transportation of property at rates less than those established in its tariff or service contracts by the unlawful use of equipment substitution in violation of section 10(b)(1) of the Shipping Act. MSC also allegedly provided service in the liner trades during this same time period not in accordance with the rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices contained in its published tariff or service contracts in violation of section 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act. In compromise of these allegations, MSC paid a civil penalty of $280,000.

Seaboard Marine Ltd. Seaboard Marine Ltd. ("Seaboard"), a vessel-operating common carrier, allegedly violated section 10(b)(11) of the Shipping Act by accepting cargo from or transporting cargo for the account of ocean transportation intermediaries that did not publish a tariff or have a bond, insurance, or other surety as required by sections 8 and 19 of the Shipping Act. Seaboard also allegedly violated section 10(b)(12) of the Shipping Act during this same time period by entering into service contracts with ocean transportation intermediaries that did not publish a tariff or have a bond, insurance, or other surety as required by sections 8 and 19 of the Shipping Act. Seaboard paid a civil penalty of $200,000 in compromise of these allegations.

Sobe Enterprises, Inc. Sobe Enterprises, Inc. ("Sobe Enterprises") is a licensed ocean transportation intermediary located in Miami, Florida. It was alleged that Sobe Enterprises violated sections 8(a) and 19 of the 1984 Act by operating as an NVOCC without publishing a tariff, obtaining a license, and furnishing the requisite proof of insurance. In compromise of these allegations, Sobe Enterprises paid a civil penalty of $20,000.

Star Freight Solutions, Inc. Star Freight Solutions, Inc. ("Star Freight") is a licensed ocean transportation intermediary located in Santa Fe Springs, California. It was alleged that Star Freight obtained ocean transportation of property at rates less than those that would have otherwise been applicable in violation of section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by accessing service contracts to which Star Freight was neither a signatory nor an affiliate and through the unlawful use of equipment substitution. In compromise of these allegations, Star Freight paid a civil penalty of $22,000.

Swat International Inc. Swat International Inc. ("Swat International") is a licensed ocean transportation intermediary located in Jamaica, New York. It was alleged that Swat International obtained ocean transportation for property at rates less than those that would have otherwise been applicable in violation of section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by accessing service contracts to which Swat International was neither a signatory nor an affiliate, by improperly describing the commodities shipped, and through the unlawful use of equipment substitution. In compromise of these allegations, Swat International paid a civil penalty in the amount of $30,000.

The Norton Line Inc. The Norton Line Inc. ("Norton Line") is a licensed ocean transportation intermediary located in Long Beach, California. It was alleged that Norton Line obtained ocean transportation of property at rates less than those that would have otherwise been applicable in violation of section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by accessing service contracts to which Norton Line was neither a signatory nor an affiliate and through the unlawful use of equipment substitution. In compromise of these allegations, Norton Line paid a civil penalty of $25,000.

Willy Express Shipping, Inc. Willy Express Shipping, Inc. ("Willy Express") is an NVOCC located in Bronx, New York. Willy Express allegedly violated Sections 8(a)(1), 19(a) and 19(b) of the Shipping Act by operating as an NVOCC in the United States trades without publishing a tariff, obtaining a license and furnishing the requisite proof of financial responsibility. In compromise of these allegations, Willy Express paid a civil penalty in the sum of $20,000.

In concluding the above compromise agreements, the parties did not admit any violations of the Act or the Commission's regulations. The compromise agreements resulted from investigations conducted by the Commission's Area Representatives located in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, South Florida, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Staff attorneys with the Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the compromise agreements.

The Federal Maritime Commission is responsible for the regulation of ocean-borne transportation in the foreign commerce of the U.S. The FMC is working to streamline the regulatory process as it goes about fulfilling its core mission, which is to administer regulations and policies that foster a fair, efficient and secure maritime transportation system.

Press Contact: Bryant L. VanBrakle (202) 523-5725; e-mail: secretary@fmc.gov