FMC Announces Compromise Agreements, issued November 25, 2003
November 25, 2003
Federal Maritime Commission
FMC Announces Compromise Agreements
Washington, D.C. 20573
CONTACT : VERN W. HILL, DIRECTOR
BUREAU OF ENFORCEMENT AT (202) 523-5783
FOR RELEASE: November 25, 2003
The Federal Maritime Commission today announced seven compromise agreements recovering civil penalties in an aggregate amount of $2,130,000. The agreements were reached with vessel-operating common carriers ("VOCC") and licensed and unlicensed ocean transportation intermediaries ("OTIs"), as stated, acting both as non-vessel-operating common carriers ("NVOCCs") and freight forwarders. The compromise agreements are:
Airmar Cargo Services, Inc. Airmar Cargo Services, Inc. ("Airmar") is an NVOCC located in Miami, FL. It was alleged that Airmar violated sections 8(a)(1), 10(a)(1) and 19(a) of the Shipping Act of 1984 ("1984 Act") by operating as a NVOCC in the United States trades without publishing a tariff, obtaining a license and furnishing the requisite proof of insurance and obtaining transportation of property at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by means of unlawfully accessing service contracts of other shippers. In compromise of these allegations, Airmar made a payment of $20,000.
China Shipping Container Lines Co., Ltd. China Shipping Container Lines Co., Ltd. ("China Shipping") is a VOCC with headquarters in Shanghai, People's Republic of China. It was alleged that China Shipping violated section 10(b)(1) of the 1984 Act by providing transportation services at less than the applicable rates and charges established in its tariffs and services contracts by permitting non-signatory shippers unlawful access to service contracts, by false classification of commodities and by failing to enforce service contract provisions relating to minimum quantity commitments and liquidated damages. It also was alleged that China Shipping violated section 10(b)(2)(A) of the 1984 Act by providing transportation not in accordance with its published tariff, and violated sections 10(b)(11) and 10(b)(12) by entering into service contracts with, and providing transportation services to, ocean transportation intermediaries that did not have tariffs, licenses or bonds as required by the 1984 Act. In compromise of these allegations, China Shipping made a payment of $1,850,000.
Compania Sud Americana de Vapores. Compania Sud Americana de Vapores ("CSAV") is a VOCC with headquarters in Valparaiso, Chile. It was alleged that CSAV provided transportation for certain shipments in the trade between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic not in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in its published tariff in violation of section 10(b)(2)(A) of the 1984 Act. It was also alleged that CSAV violated section 10(b)(11) of the 1984 Act by accepting cargo from or providing transportation to an entity acting as an OTI without a tariff, license or bond as required by section 19 of the 1984 Act; and, alternatively, if such entity was deemed to be a VOCC, CSAV entered into and operated pursuant to an agreement not filed with the Commission in violation of sections 5(a) and 10(a)(2) of the 1984 Act. Under the terms of the compromise, CSAV made a payment of $50,000.
Logical Logistics International, Ltd. Logical Logistics International, Ltd. ("LLI") is a licensed ocean freight forwarder with headquarters in Atlanta, GA. It was alleged that LLI operated an ocean freight forwarder inplant operation on the premises of a shipper in a manner contrary to Commission regulations at 46 CFR Part 515, and in other respects failed to operate as a freight forwarder in conformity with Commission regulations. It was also alleged that LLI violated section 19(b) of the 1984 Act in failing to comply with financial responsibility requirements. In compromise of these allegations, LLI made a payment of $50,000.
Patron Services, Inc. and Cap Consolidators, LLC. Patron Services, Inc. ("Patron") is a licensed ocean freight forwarder and Cap Consolidators, LLC ("Cap") is a licensed NVOCC. Both Patron and Cap are located in Baltimore, MD and are related entities through common ownership. It was alleged that Patron violated section 19(e)(3) of the 1984 Act by receiving forwarder compensation on Cap shipments in which it had a beneficial interest and that Cap violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by obtaining transportation at less than the applicable rates and charges through the receipt of forwarder compensation by its related company. Under terms of the compromise, Patron and Cap made a payment of $45,000.
Team Ocean Services, Inc. Team Ocean Services, Inc. ("Team Ocean"), a Texas corporation, is a licensed OTI conducting business as both a freight forwarder and NVOCC. It was alleged that Team Ocean violated sections 10(a)(1), 10(b)(1) and 10(b)(2) of the 1984 Act by accessing service contracts of an unlawful foreign NVOCC, by falsely identifying the shipper and consignee on the master bills of lading and by permitting its customers to obtain transportation at rates other than those in published tariffs. It also was alleged that Team Ocean violated 46 CFR Part 515 of the Commission's regulations by permitting entities to use its license which were not unincorporated branch offices or bona fide employees of Team Ocean. In compromise of these allegations, Team Ocean made a payment of $100,000.
Transit Worldwide Corp. and Michael Guerrero. Transit Worldwide Corp. and its principal, Michael Guerrero ("Transit"), operated as an NVOCC in Miami, FL. It was alleged that Transit violated sections 19(a) and (b) of the 1984 Act by operating as an OTI without the required license, tariff or bond. In compromise of these violations, Transit made a payment of $15,000.
In concluding the above compromises, the parties did not admit any violations of the 1984 Act or the Commission's regulations. 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.