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FMC Announces Compromise Agreements

October 5, 2005

NR 05-16

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

The Federal Maritime Commission today announced compromise agreements recovering civil penalties in an aggregate amount of $305,000. The compromise agreements are:

Aces, Ltd. and Northeast Consolidators, Inc. Aces, Ltd. (“Aces”) is a licensed ocean freight forwarder and Northeast Consolidators, Inc. (“Northeast”) is a licensed NVOCC, both located in Scituate, MA. It was alleged that Aces violated 19(e)(3) of the Shipping Act of 1984 (“1984 Act”) by obtaining freight forwarder compensation from ocean common carriers on shipments in which it had a direct or indirect beneficial interest. It was further alleged that Northeast violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by obtaining transportation by water for property at less than the rates or charges which would have been applicable through the device or means of permitting a related freight forwarding company, Aces, to collect forwarder compensation on shipments handled by Northeast. In compromise of these allegations, Aces and Northeast made a payment in the amount of $55,000.

Air Parcel Express, Inc. Air Parcel Express, Inc. (“APX”) is a licensed ocean transportation intermediary located in Miami, FL. It was alleged that APX violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by accessing service contracts to which APX was not a signatory thereby obtaining ocean transportation for property at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable. It was further alleged that at the time APX operated as an NVOCC, it did so without the requisite OTI license and without publishing a tariff or providing proof of required financial responsibility in violation of sections 8(a) and 19 of the Act. In compromise of these allegations, APX made a payment in the amount of $25,000.

Cosa Freight Inc. Cosa Freight Inc. (“Cosa Freight”) is a licensed and bonded ocean transportation intermediary located in City of Industry, CA. It was alleged that Cosa Freight violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by accessing service contracts to which it was not a signatory thereby obtaining ocean transportation for property at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable. It was further alleged that Cosa Freight violated section 10(b)(2)(A) of the 1984 Act by providing transportation in the liner trade that was not in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in its published tariff. In compromise of these allegations, Cosa Freight made a payment in the amount of $60,000.

Nations Express Inc. Nations Express Inc. (“Nations”) is a licensed freight forwarder located in Charlotte, NC. It is alleged that Nations provided service as an ocean freight forwarder, and collected compensation therefore, without obtaining the requisite OTI license and without providing proof of financial responsibility in violation of section 19 of the Shipping Act. In compromise of these allegations, Nations paid the sum of $25,000.

Topocean Consolidation Service, Inc. Topocean, Inc. (“Topocean”) is a licensed NVOCC based in Los Angeles, CA. It was alleged that Topocean obtained ocean transportation of property at rates less than those which would have otherwise been applicable in violation of Section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by improperly describing the commodities shipped and through the unlawful use of equipment substitution. Topocean also allegedly provided service in the liner trades that was not in accordance with the rates charges, classifications, rules, and practices contained in a published tariff in violation of Section 10(b)(2)(A). In compromise of these allegations, Topocean made a payment in the amount of $140,000.