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FMC Announces Compromise Agreements

March 22, 2005

NR 05-04

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

The Federal Maritime Commission today announced compromise agreements recovering civil penalties in an aggregate amount of $514,500. The agreements were reached with a vessel-operating common carrier ("VOCC"), licensed and unlicensed ocean transportation intermediaries ("OTIs"), as stated, acting both as non-vessel-operating common carriers ("NVOCCs") and freight forwarders, and proprietary shippers. The compromise agreements are:
Almar USA Corporation. Almar USA Corporation ("Almar") is a licensed NVOCC located in Miami, FL. It was alleged that Almar violated section 10(b)(11) of the Shipping Act of 1984 ("Shipping Act") by accepting and transporting cargo for the account of an unlicensed OTI. Additionally, it was alleged that Almar violated section 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act by providing transportation in the liner trades that was not in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in its published tariff. In compromise of these allegations, Almar made a payment in the amount of $20,000.

Asia Pacific Express Co., Ltd. and APE Freight International, Inc. Asia Pacific Express Co., Ltd. ("Asia Pacific"), a tariffed and bonded OTI based in Hong Kong, was alleged to have accessed another OTI's service contract in violation of Section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act. Asia Pacific also allegedly utilized the services of an unlicensed NVOCC, APE Freight International, Inc. ("APE Freight"), as destination agent in the United States for shipments made under this service contract, inviolation of section 515.3 of the Commission's regulations. APE Freight allegedly violated sections 8 and19 of the Shipping Act by failing to have a license, proof of financial responsibility and a tariff at the time it performed these services for Asia Pacific. In compromise of these allegations, Asia Pacific and APE Freight collectively paid the sum of $22,000.
Carga Tica International, Inc. Carga Tica International, Inc. (""Carga Tica"") is an OTI domiciled in Miami, FL. It was alleged that Carga Tica violated sections 8(a) and19 of the Shipping Act by operating as an OTI without having obtained a license, published a tariff or furnished proof of an OTI bond, and that Carga Tica violated section 10(a)(1) of the Act by unlawfully accessing service contracts in order to obtain transportation at rates less than would otherwise be applicable. Under the terms of the compromise, Carga Tica made a payment in the amount of $15,000.
Cibao Cargo Inc. Cibao Cargo, Inc. ("Cibao") is a licensed NVOCC located in New York, NY. It was alleged that Cibao violated sections 8(a) and 19 of the Shipping Act by unlawfully receiving transportation services under service contracts with VOCCs and by providing ocean transportation services prior to issuance of an OTI license. It was also alleged that Cibao violated section 10(b)(1) by obtaining transportation at less than the otherwise applicable service contract rates by misdeclaring the commodity shipped. Under the terms of the compromise, Cibao made a payment in the amount of $15,000.

City Ocean International, Inc. and City Ocean International Freight Co., Ltd. City Ocean International, Inc. ("City Ocean") is a licensed NVOCC located in Walnut, CA. City Ocean International Freight Co., Ltd. ("City Ocean Freight") is a bonded NVOCC located in Shenzhen, People's Republic of China. It was alleged that the two companies violated sections 10(a)(1) and 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act by accessing service contracts to which they were not signatories and obtaining ocean transportation for property at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise have been applicable and by providing transportation in the liner trades that was not in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in their published tariffs. In compromise of these allegations, City Ocean and City Ocean Freight made a payment in the sum of $60,000.
Elite Shipping, Inc. Elite Shipping, Inc. ("Elite Shipping") is an NVOCC operating in Miami, FL. It was alleged that Elite Shipping violated sections 8(a) and 19 of the Shipping Act by operating as an NVOCC without obtaining an OTI license, publishing a tariff, or providing proof of the requisite financial responsibility. In compromise of these allegations, Elite Shipping made a payment in the sum of $20,000.

Formerica Consolidation Services, Inc. Formerica Consolidation Services, Inc. ("Formerica") is an NVOCC domiciled in Jamaica, NY. It was alleged that Formerica was operating in violation of sections 8(a) and 19 of the Shipping Act by providing NVOCC services in the United States - Far East trades without first having obtained an OTI license and without publishing a tariff or providing proof of a valid OTI bond. It was also alleged that Formerica violated section 10(a) of the Act by unlawfully entering into service contracts with VOCCs and receiving transportation services thereunder at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise have been applicable. Formerica made a payment in the amount of $25,000.
Francisco Rodriguez d/b/a Dominicana Shipping Company. Francisco Rodriguez d/b/a Dominicana Shipping Company ("Domincana Shipping") is a licensed OTI located in New York, NY. Dominicana Shipping allegedly violated sections 10(a)(1), 8(a) and 19 of the Shipping Act by unlawful entering into service contracts and acting as an OTI prior to having obtained an OTI license, published a tariff, or furnished proof of an OTI bond. Under the terms of the compromise, Dominicana Shipping made a payment in the amount of $15,000.

Frontier Liner Services, Inc. Frontier Liner Services, Inc. ("Frontier") is a VOCC located in Miami, FL. It was alleged that Frontier violated sections 10(b)(1) and 10(b)(11) of the Shipping Act by providing ocean transportation services at less than the rates and charges shown in its published tariff and by accepting and transporting cargo for the account of unlicensed NVOCCs. It was further alleged that, as a VOCC, Frontier violated section 10(b)(12) of the Shipping Act by entering into service contracts with unlicensed NVOCCs that did not publish tariffs or maintain bonds as required by the Act. In compromise of these allegations, Frontier made a payment in the amount of $55,000.
Global Alliance Logistics (LA), Inc. Global Alliance Logistics (LA), Inc. (""Global Alliance"") is a licensed NVOCC based in Inglewood, CA. It was alleged that separately incorporated companies affiliated with Global Alliance had operated as the company's ""branch offices"" since January 2001 without obtaining the requisite OTI licenses and bonds in violation of section 19 of the Shipping Act. In compromise of these allegations, Global Alliance and its affiliated companies collectively paid the sum of $50,000.

InterWorld Industrial, Inc. InterWorld Industrial, Inc. ("InterWorld") is a proprietary shipper located in Woodland Hills, CA. It was alleged that InterWorld violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by permitting unlawful access to its service contracts. In so doing, it was alleged that InterWorld also violated section 19 of the Act by providing services as an NVOCC without obtaining a license, publishing a tariff or providing proof of an OTI bond. In compromise of these allegations, InterWorld made a payment in the sum of $17,500.
Montero Shipping Company. Montero Shipping Company ("Montero Shipping"), is an NVOCC located in the Bronx, NY. Montero allegedly violated sections 8(a), 10(a)(1), and 19 of the Shipping Act by unlawfully entering into service contracts and by acting as an OTI prior to having obtained an OTI license, published a tariff, or furnished proof of an OTI bond. Under the terms of the compromise, Montero made a payment in the amount of $20,000.

Monumental Shipping & Moving Corporation. Monumental Shipping & Moving Corporation ("Monumental") is an NVOCC located in East Elmhurst, NY. Monumental allegedly violated Sections 8(a) and 19 of the Shipping Act by operating as an NVOCC in the United States trades prior to obtaining a license, publishing a tariff, or furnishing proof of an OTI bond. Monumental also allegedly violated Section 10(a)(1) of the Act by entering into service contracts with an ocean common carrier and obtaining transportation services thereunder at less than the rates and charges otherwise applicable. Under the terms of the compromise, Monumental paid the sum of $20,000.
Perfect Express Corporation. Perfect Express Corporation ("Perfect Express") is a licensed NVOCC located in Bensenville, IL. It was alleged that Perfect Express and its separately incorporated affiliates operated as a single ocean transportation intermediary in the liner trades without obtaining OTI licenses and bonds for the incorporated affiliates in violation of section 19 of the Shipping Act. In compromise of these allegations, Perfect Express and its affiliated companies collectively paid the sum of 52,5000.

Robert A. Pfeiffer d/b/a Auto Shipping International. Robert A. Pfeiffer d/b/a Auto Shipping International ("Auto Shipping International") is a licensed freight forwarder located in Monroe, NJ. It was alleged that Auto Shipping International improperly obtained forwarder compensation on shipments where no forwarding services were performed. Auto Shipping International surrendered its OTI license and paid the sum of $17,500.
Quality Express USA, Inc. and Quality Express Cargo, Ltd. Quality Express USA, Inc. is a licensed NVOCC based in Jamaica, NY; Quality Express Cargo, Ltd., its affiliated agent, is based in Shanghai, People's Republic of China. It was alleged that the Quality Express companies knowingly and wilfully obtained transportation of property at less than the applicable rates and charges published in VOCC service contracts by means of misdescribing the commodities shipped, in violation of section 10(a) of the Shipping Act. In addition, it was alleged the Quality Express companies allowed other NVOCCs unlawfully to access these same service contracts, thereby allowing third parties to obtain rates more favorable than the rates otherwise applicable in violation of section 10(b) of the Act. In compromise of these allegation, Quality Express USA and its affiliated agent in China collectively made a payment in the amount of $45,000.

Transporte Medrano, Inc., d/b/a Medrano Express. Transporte Medrano, Inc., d/b/a/ Medrano Express ("Medrano") is an NVOCC located in Hempstead, NY. Medrano allegedly violated Sections 8 and 19 of the Shipping Act by operating as an NVOCC in the United States trades without obtaining a license, publishing a tariff or furnishing proof of an OTI bond. In compromise of these allegations, Medrano paid the sum of $25,000.
Williams Caribbean Shipping and Delivery Services, Inc. Williams Caribbean Shipping and Delivery Services, Inc. ("Williams") is an NVOCC located in New York, NY. It was alleged that Williams violated sections 8 and 19 of the 1984 Act by operating as an OTI without first having obtained a OTI license from the Commission, published a tariff, or furnished proof of an OTI bond. It was also alleged that Williams violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by unlawfully entering into service contracts and transporting cargo pursuant to those contracts in the United States - Caribbean trades. Williams made a monetary payment to the Commission in the amount of $20,000.

In concluding the above compromises, the parties did not admit any violation of the 1984 Act or the Commission's regulations. These compromise agreements resulted from investigations conducted by Area Representatives of the Bureau of Enforcement located in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, South Florida and Washington, DC. Staff attorneys with the Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the compromise agreements.