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FMC Announces Compromise Agreements (NR 99-02)

January 7, 1999

FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION

FMC ANNOUNCES COMPROMISE AGREEMENTS

NR 99-02

Washington, D.C. 20573


CONTACT VERN W. HILL, DIRECTOR

BUREAU OF ENFORCEMENT AT (202) 523-5783

FOR RELEASE: January 7, 1999

The Federal Maritime Commission today announced compromise agreements with nine entities recovering civil penalties in an aggregate amount of $850,000. The agreements were entered into with a variety of transportation entities including vessel-operating common carriers, NVOCCs (as carriers and shippers), and freight forwarders. The compromise agreements are:

Best Lines Ltd. Best Lines Ltd. is a NVOCC based in Hong Kong, PRC. Best Lines was charged with violating section 10 (b)(1) of the 1984 Act by charging, demanding, collecting or receiving less compensation for the transportation of property than the rates and charges set forth in its tariff. Best Lines paid the sum of $30,000. It did not admit violations of the Act.

China National Foreign Trade Transportation Corp. dba SINOTRANS. SINOTRANS is a vessel-operating common carrier with headquarters in Beijing, PRC. It was alleged that SINOTRANS had not billed or collected deadfreight penalties required under SINOTRANS' service contracts, permitted non-signatory parties to obtain access to service contract rates, and made payments of freight forwarder compensation to a licensed forwarder related to the contracting shipper in violation of sections 10(b)(1), 10(b)(3), 10(b)(4) and 19(d) of the 1984 Act. Under the compromise, SINOTRANS paid the amount of $350,000 and did not admit violations of the Act.

Crowley American Transport, Inc. Crowley is a vessel-operating common carrier located in Jacksonville, Florida. It was alleged that Crowley knowingly and willfully accepted and transported cargo for the account of an NVOCC that did not have a tariff and bond, insurance or other surety on file with the Commission in violation of section 10(b)(14) of the 1984 Act. Crowley paid the amount of $35,000. It did not admit violations of the Act.

Fortune Network Ltd. Fortune Network Ltd., based in Hong Kong, PRC, is a tariffed and bonded NVOCC. Fortune Network was charged with violating section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by obtaining transportation of property at less than the applicable service contract rates and charges by misdescribing commodities on shipments transported under its service contract with Transportacion Maritima Mexicana ("Mexican Line"). Fortune Network paid the sum of $40,000 and did not admit violations of the Act.

Hudson Shipping (H.K.) Ltd. Hudson Shipping (H.K.) Ltd. d/b/a Hudson Express Lines is a tariffed and bonded NVOCC located in Hong Kong, PRC. It was alleged that Hudson violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by obtaining transportation for property at less than the applicable rates and charges by misdescribing the commodities shipped in the transpacific trades under its service contract with Hyundai. It was also alleged that Hudson, in its capacity as common carrier, violated section 10(b)(1) of the 1984 Act by charging, demanding, collecting or receiving less or different compensation for the transportation of property than the rates and charges shown in its own tariff. Pursuant to its agreement, Hudson paid the sum of $30,000. It did not admit violations of the Act.

Kenwa Shipping Co. Ltd. Kenwa Shipping Co. Ltd. is a tariffed and bonded NVOCC located in Hong Kong, PRC. It was alleged that Kenwa Shipping violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by obtaining transportation of property on behalf of others at less than the applicable service contract rates and charges by permitting other NVOCCs to access its service contract with COSCO. Kenwa paid the sum of $40,000 and did not admit violations of the Act.

Madrigal-Wan Hai Lines Corp. Madrigal-Wan Hai Lines Corp. is a vessel-operating common carrier located in Manila, Philippines. It was alleged that Madrigal accepted cargo from or transported cargo for the accounts of NVOCCs that do not have tariffs and bonds, insurance, or other surety as required in violation of section 10(b)(14) of the 1984 Act, and that Madrigal entered into service contracts with NVOCCs, or in which NVOCCs were listed as affiliates, that do not have tariffs and bonds, insurance or other surety as required in violation of section 10(b)(15) of the 1984 Act. In compromise of these allegations, Madrigal admitted the violations as alleged, paid the amount of $175,000 and agreed to institute a one-year compliance program.

NEC Logistics, Ltd. NEC Logistics, Ltd. is a tariffed and bonded NVOCC located in Tokyo, Japan.

It was alleged that NEC allowed ineligible shippers to access its service contracts and thereby allowed those shippers to obtain ocean transportation for less that applicable rates and charges in violation of section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act. Under the terms of the compromise, NEC paid the amount of $60,000 and did not admit violations of the Act.

Traffic Care International Corp. Traffic Care is a licensed freight forwarder located in Inglewood California. It was alleged that Traffic Care received compensation as an ocean freight forwarder without performing those services required for payment of forwarder compensation in violation of section 19(d) of the 1984 Act, and without furnishing to the ocean common carrier the required freight forwarder certification in violation of 46 C.F.R. Part 510. Traffic Care paid the sum of $90,000 and did not admit violations of the Act.

The compromise agreements resulted from investigations conducted by Area Representatives of the Bureau of Enforcement located in Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Seattle and Washington, DC. Staff attorneys with the Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the compromise agreements.