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FMC Announces Five Compromise Agreements

August 19, 1998

FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION

FMC Announces Five Compromise Agreements

NR 98-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20573


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

FOR RELEASE: AUGUST 19, 1998

The Federal Maritime Commission today announced five compromise agreements with common carriers and freight forwarders for alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984, recovering civil penalties aggregating $655,000. The compromise agreements are:

Cross Water Line, Inc. and BLG Incorporated. Cross Water Line, Inc., is a non-vessel-operating common carrier, located in New York, NY and is a subsidiary of BLG Incorporated. It was alleged that these companies charged or demanded less compensation for the transportation of property than the rates or charges that were shown in Cross Water Line, Inc.'s tariff prior to October 31, 1996, in violation of section 10(b)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984. In accordance with the compromise, they paid the sum of $15,000.

Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC, FESCO Intermodal, Inc., Ocean Management Inc. and FESCO Agencies, N.A., Inc. Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC is an ocean common carrier located in Vladivostok, Russia. Its wholly-owned subsidiaries, FESCO Intermodal, Inc. and Ocean Management, Inc., are ocean common carriers located in Seattle, Washington. The agent for these three carriers is Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC's wholly-owned subsidiary, FESCO Agencies, N.A., Inc., also located in Seattle, Washington.

It was alleged that Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC (and its agent, FESCO Agencies N.A., Inc.) held Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC out to the public as an ocean common carrier in the trades between the United States and Australia/New Zealand and between the United States and Russia without rates and charges on file at the Commission in violation of section 8 of the Shipping Act of 1984. Also, Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC was alleged to have violated section 10(b)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984 by charging less compensation for the transportation of property than the rates set forth in its tariff when Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC was maintaining a tariff for the trade between the United States and Russia. In addition, Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC and Ocean Management Incorporated (before it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC) were alleged to have entered into and operated pursuant to an agreement which was not filed with the Commission in violation of sections 5(a) and 10(a)(2) of the Shipping Act of 1984. Ocean Management Incorporated and FESCO Intermodal, Inc. also were alleged to have obtained or attempted to obtain transportation for property at less than the rates and charges otherwise applicable through the unlawful use of charter parties in violation of section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984 and were alleged to have charged less compensation for the transportation of property than the rates set forth in their tariffs or service contracts in violation of section 10(b)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984. Further it was alleged that Ocean Management Incorporated and FESCO Intermodal, Inc. operated for periods of time as non-vessel-operating common carriers without furnishing sureties to the Commission in violation of section 23(a) of the Shipping Act of 1984. These entities paid the sum of $550,000 in compromise of these allegations.

Penbroke Marine Services, Inc. Penbroke is a licensed ocean freight forwarder located in Staten Island, NY. It was alleged that Penbroke obtained or attempted to obtain transportation for property at less than the rates and charges otherwise applicable through the unlawful use of service contracts in violation of section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984. In addition, Penbroke was alleged to have collected freight forwarder compensation on shipments in which it had a beneficial interest in violation of section 19(d)(4) of the Shipping Act of 1984. As set forth in the compromise agreement, Penbroke paid the sum of $25,000 to the Commission.

Seabridge International Inc. Seabridge is a licensed ocean freight forwarder located in Baltimore, MD. It was alleged that Seabridge obtained or attempted to obtain transportation for property at less than the rates and charges otherwise applicable through the unlawful use of service contracts in violation of section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984. Seabridge also was alleged to have collected freight forwarder compensation on shipments in which it had a beneficial interest in violation of section 19(d)(4) of the Shipping Act of 1984. Under the terms of the compromise agreement, Seabridge paid $25,000.

Translink Shipping Inc. Translink Shipping, Inc. located in Seattle, Washington is a non-vessel-operating common carrier. It was alleged that Translink violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984 by obtaining or attempting to obtain ocean transportation at less than the applicable rates or charges through the device or means of commodity misdescription. In addition, Translink was alleged to have violated section 10(b)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984 by collecting or receiving less or different compensation for transportation of property than the rates otherwise applicable under its tariff. Under its compromise, Translink Shipping Inc. paid the sum of $40,000.

In concluding the above compromises, these companies did not admit any violations of the Shipping Act of 1984. The compromise agreements resulted from investigations conducted by Area Representatives of the Bureau of Enforcement located in Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle and Washington. Staff attorneys with the Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the settlements.