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FMC Announces Compromise Agreements

May 2, 2002

Federal Maritime Commission

FMC ANNOUNCES COMPROMISE AGREEMENTS

Washington, D.C. 20573

NR 02 - 06

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

FOR RELEASE: May 2, 2002

The Federal Maritime Commission today announced ten compromise agreements recovering civil penalties in an aggregate amount of $764,500. The agreements were reached with vessel-operating common carriers and a variety of ocean transportation intermediaries ("OTIs"), including both non-vessel-operating common carriers ("NVOCCs") and freight forwarders. The compromise agreements are:

Air Sea Transport Inc. et al. The "Air Sea Companies" comprise Air Sea Transport Inc., a Taiwanese corporation; Air Sea Transport, Inc., a California corporation; Bondex China Co. Ltd., a P.R.C. corporation; and Bondex Air & Sea Logistics, Inc., a California corporation. The first three named companies are separately tariffed and bonded as NVOCCs; Bondex Air & Sea Logistics is an applicant for OTI licensing. It was alleged that the Air Sea Companies violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984 ("1984 Act") by obtaining transportation of property at less than the applicable rates and charges by means of misdescription of the commodities shipped. The Air Sea Companies jointly paid the sum of $60,000.

Bernuth Lines Ltd. Bernuth Lines, Ltd. ("Bernuth") is a vessel operating common carrier located in Miami, Florida. It was alleged that Bernuth provided service in the Caribbean and South America liner trades at rates and charges other than those contained in its published tariffs, in violation of section 10(b)(2) of the 1984 Act. In compromise of these allegations, Bernuth paid the sum of $110,000.

De Well Container Shipping Corp. De Well Container Shipping Corp. ("De Well Container") is a tariffed, bonded and licensed NVOCC located in Rosedale, New York. It was determined that shipments to De Well Container, as service contract signatory and consignee on shipments from Shanghai, PRC were affirmatively misdescribed as to commodity, in apparent violation of section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act. Under the terms of the compromise, De Well Container paid the sum of $50,000.

Dole Ocean Cargo Express and King Ocean Central America, S.A. Dole Ocean Cargo Express ("Dole") of Jacksonville, Florida and King Ocean Central America, S.A. ("King Ocean") of Miami, Florida are separately owned vessel operating common carriers participating in the Central America trades. It was alleged that Dole and King Ocean violated sections 5(a) and 10(a)(2) of the 1984 Act by failing to file a slot allocation agreement in a timely manner and by knowingly and willfully operating pursuant to this unfiled agreement. Pursuant to individual compromise agreements, Dole and King Ocean each made a payment of $40,000.

Eurasia Freight Service Inc. and Eurasia Express Co., Ltd. Eurasia Freight Service, Inc. ("Eurasia Freight") is a tariffed, bonded and licensed NVOCC, with offices in Jamaica, New York and Los Angeles, CA. Eurasia Express Co., Ltd. ("Eurasia Express") is an untariffed OTI based in Shanghai, PRC, which serves primarily as origin/destination agent for Eurasia Freight. It was alleged that Eurasia Freight and Eurasia Express obtained transportation of property at less than the applicable rates and charges by means of misdescription of the commodities shipped, in violation of section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act. In addition, Eurasia Express executed service contracts and issued NVOCC bills of lading without having a valid tariff or bond in effect. Under the compromise, the parties paid $80,000.

Hanjin Shipping Company, Ltd. Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd. ("Hanjin") is a vessel operating common carrier with headquarters in Seoul, Korea. It was alleged that Hanjin violated former section 10(b)(1) of the 1984 Act by collecting or receiving less or different compensation than the rates and charges shown in its service contracts. It was also alleged that Hanjin knowingly and willfully accepted cargo from or transported cargo for accounts of OTIs that did not have tariffs and bonds, insurance, or other surety as required in violation of section 10(b)(11) of the 1984 Act, and that Hanjin knowingly and willfully entered into service contracts with OTIs that did not have tariffs and bonds, insurance or other surety as required in violation of section 10(b)(12) of the 1984 Act. In compromise of these allegations, Hanjin paid the sum of $280,000.

Servitrans, Inc. Servitrans, Inc. ("Servitrans") is a tariffed, bonded and licensed NVOCC located in Houston, Texas, operating in the South America trades. It was alleged that Servitrans violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by obtaining transportation at less than the applicable rates and charges provided in its service contracts, and violated section 10(b)(2) of the 1984 Act by failing to charge the rates set forth in its own NVOCC tariff. Furthermore, it was alleged that Servitrans violated sections 8(a) and 23(a) of the 1984 Act by acting as a NVOCC without a tariff and a surety bond on file with the Commission. In compromise of these allegations, Servitrans paid the sum of $45,000.

Top Cargo Inc. Top Cargo Inc. ("Top Cargo") held itself out as an ocean transportation intermediary based in Miami, Florida. It was alleged that Top Cargo violated sections 10(a)(1) and 19(e) of the 1984 Act by acting as a NVOCC without first obtaining an OTI license, without providing the Commission evidence of a bond or other form of security and without publishing a NVOCC tariff; that Top Cargo shipped cargo of others under service contracts wherein Top Cargo identified itself as the beneficial owner of the cargo; and that Top Cargo entered into a service contract as a NVOCC shipper without first having obtained an OTI license. Top Cargo paid $22,000 in settlement of the allegations.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines AS. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines AS ("WWL") is a vessel operating common carrier located in Oslo, Norway. It was alleged that WWL violated Commission regulations at 46 CFR Part 530 by filing with the Commission and maintaining service contracts having incomplete, inaccurate or no certifications of shipper status. WWL paid $37,500 in settlement of the allegations.

In concluding the above compromises, the settling parties did not admit any violations of the 1984 Act. These compromise agreements resulted from investigations conducted by Area Representatives of the Bureau of Enforcement located in Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington, DC. Staff attorneys with the Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the compromise agreements.