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FMC Announces Compromise Agreements

April 4, 2001

FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION

FMC ANNOUNCES COMPROMISE AGREEMENTS

Washington, D.C. 20573

NR 01-05

CONTACT VERN W. HILL, DIRECTOR

BUREAU OF ENFORCEMENT AT (202) 523-5783

FOR RELEASE: APRIL 4, 2001

The Federal Maritime Commission today announced ten compromise agreements resulting in civil penalties in an aggregate amount of $520,000. The agreements were entered into with vessel operating common carriers, and ocean transportation intermediaries operating as forwarders, carriers or shippers in the U.S. foreign trades, including the Transatlantic, Mediterranean, Transpacific, Central America, South America and Caribbean trades. The compromise agreements are:

Dedola International, Inc. Dedola International Inc. ("Dedola") is a licensed ocean transportation intermediary located in Long Beach, CA. It was alleged that Dedola violated sections 8(a) and 10(b) of the Shipping Act of 1984, and the Commission's regulations at 46 C.F.R. Parts 520 and 530, by operating as a non-vessel-operating common carrier without publishing a tariff between May 1, 1999 and March 30, 2000. During this period of time Dedola handled hundreds of shipments as a carrier and participated as a shipper signatory to service contracts. In compromise of these allegations, Dedola paid the sum of $40,000.

Interocean Lines, Inc. and Trinity Shipping Line S.A. Interocean Lines, Inc. ("Interocean") and Trinity Shipping Line S.A. ("Trinity") are individually owned and operated vessel operating common carriers located in Miami, FL, participating in the South America trades. It was alleged that Interocean and Trinity violated sections 10(a)(2) and 10(b)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984 by operating for approximately a six-month period under an agreement which was required to be filed and had not become effective, and failing to charge the rates in their jointly-published tariff. It was also alleged that Interocean and Trinity violated section 10(c)(5) of the Shipping Act of 1984 by placing a clause in service contracts which prohibited the payment of freight forwarder compensation. In compromise of these allegations, and pursuant to separate agreements, Interocean and Trinity each made a payment of $30,000.

Newport Cargo Consolidated, Inc. Newport Cargo Consolidated, Inc. ("Newport Cargo") is a licensed ocean transportation intermediary located in Hawthorne, CA, operating as an ocean freight forwarder in the Transpacific trade. It was alleged that Newport Cargo violated section 19(d)(4) of the Shipping Act of 1984 and the Commission's regulations at 46 C.F.R. §§ 510.22(i) and 510.23(h) by receiving freight forwarder compensation from ocean common carriers with respect to shipments in which it had a direct beneficial interest through an affiliated non-vessel-operating common carrier. In compromise of these allegations, Newport Cargo paid the sum of $45,000.

Panalpina, Inc. and Panalpina FMS, Inc. Panalpina, Inc. ("Panalpina") is a licensed ocean freight forwarder with U.S. headquarters in Morristown, NJ. Panalpina FMS, Inc. ("FMS") is a subsidiary of Panalpina with headquarters in Hanover, MD. It was alleged that with respect to certain shipments transported between February, 1997 and June, 2000, Panalpina permitted FMS, an unlicensed ocean freight forwarder, to use Panalpina's freight forwarding license and to collect the resulting compensation from ocean common carriers; and FMS performed ocean freight forwarding services without a valid license issued by the Commission. It was alleged that these activities violated the Commission's regulations at 46 C.F.R. §§ 510.18(c), 510.21(c) and 510.21(e), as well as the Commission's amended regulations at 46 C.F.R. §§ 515.14(b), 515.31(c) and 515.32(b), and section 19(a) of the Shipping Act of 1984 ("1984 Act"). In compromise of these allegations, the companies made a payment of $150,000, FMS agreed not to engage in the performance of services as an ocean freight forwarder unless and until a valid license is issued by the Commission to FMS, and FMS committed to retaining the services of a neutral auditor for the purpose of ensuring FMS' compliance with the 1984 Act and the Commission's regulations.

Robert S. Rullo, dba ABA Forwarding. Robert S. Rullo, dba ABA Forwarding, was a licensed ocean freight forwarder located in North Plainfield, NJ. It was alleged that Robert Rullo violated sections 10(a)(1) and 19(e) of the Shipping Act of 1984, and related Commission regulations, by conveying a portion of freight forwarder compensation to shippers so as to reduce rates paid by these shippers, permitting shippers to prepare and submit bills of lading naming ABA Forwarding as forwarder knowing that ABA Forwarding performed no services on such shipments, and falsely certifying to the ocean carriers that forwarding services had been performed. In connection with the compromise, Mr. Rullo surrendered his ocean freight forwarder license and paid the sum of $15,000.

Signet Shipping Company. Signet Shipping Company ("Signet") was a vessel operating common carrier located in Houston, TX operating in the Central America trades. It was alleged that Signet violated sections 8(a), 8(c)(2) and 10(b)(2) of the Shipping Act of 1984, as amended, as well as the regulations thereunder, by failing to make the rules section of its tariff available for public inspection, by failing to file in a timely manner service contracts with various shippers, and by failing to charge rates and charges set forth in its tariff for transportation services provided. Signet has discontinued providing transportation services as an ocean common carrier in the U.S. trades. In compromise of these allegations, Signet made a payment of $20,000.

Tecmarine Lines, Inc. Tecmarine Lines, Inc. ("Tecmarine") is a vessel operating common carrier operating in the U.S.- Caribbean trades with headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It was alleged that Tecmarine violated sections 10(b)(1), 10(b)(2) and 10(b)(4) of the Shipping Act of 1984, and sections 10(b)(1) and 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act of 1984, as amended. It was alleged that Tecmarine allowed shippers to obtain ocean transportation for less than applicable rates and charges on certain shipments transported from the United States to Trinidad during the period from January, 1998 through December, 1999, by charging and/or receiving less than applicable rates and charges and by providing local drayage and equipment without charge or not in accordance with applicable, rates, terms and charges. Under terms of the compromise agreement, Tecmarine paid the sum of $80,000.

Universal Freightways Corp. Universal Freightways Corp. ("Universal") is a licensed ocean transportation intermediary located in Miami, FL operating as a non-vessel-operating common carrier in, among others, the South America trades. It was alleged that Universal violated sections 10(b)(1) and 10(b)(14) of the Shipping Act of 1984 by charging different compensation for the transportation of property than the rates and charges set forth in its tariff and by accepting cargo from or transporting cargo for the account of a non-vessel-operating common carrier that does not have a tariff and bond as required by the Shipping Act of 1984. In compromise of these allegations, Universal paid the sum of $45,000.

Yatari Express Co., Ltd. Yatari Express Co., Ltd. ("Yatari") is a tariffed and bonded ocean transportation intermediary/non-vessel-operating common carrier located in Taipei, Taiwan, operating in the Transpacific trade. It was alleged that Yatari violated sections 10(a)(1) and 10(b)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984 by improperly accessing a service contract, misdescribing commodities, and failing to charge the rates in its tariff. In addition, it was alleged that Yatari violated sections 8(a)(1) and 19(b)(1) of the Shipping Act of 1984 by operating as an ocean transportation intermediary without a publicly available tariff and without a bond on file with the Commission. In compromise of these allegations, Yatari made a payment of $65,000.

In concluding these compromises, these entities did not admit any violation of the Shipping Act of 1984. 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.