FMC Announces Compromise Agreements, issued July 20, 2004
July 20, 2004
Federal Maritime Commission
Washington, D.C. 20573
NR 04 - 10
CONTACT : VERN W. HILL, DIRECTOR
BUREAU OF ENFORCEMENT AT (202) 523-5783
FOR RELEASE: July 20, 2004
The Federal Maritime Commission today announced nine compromise agreements recovering civil penalties in an aggregate amount of $549,000. The agreements were reached with vessel-operating common carriers ("VOCCs"), licensed and unlicensed ocean transportation intermediaries ("OTIs"), acting both as non-vessel-operating common carriers ("NVOCCs") and freight forwarders, and proprietary shippers. The compromise agreements are:
Atallah Business Group. Atallah Business Group ("Atallah") is an NVOCC located in Miami, FL. It was alleged that Atallah violated sections 8(a) and 19 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. In compromise of these allegations, Atallah made a payment of $20,000.
Antillean Marine Shipping Corp. Antillean Marine Shipping Corp. ("Antillean") is a VOCC domiciled in Miami, FL operating in the U.S. foreign trades, including the trades between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. It was alleged that Antillean violated sections 10(b)(11) and 10(b)(12) of the 1984 Act 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 addition, it was alleged that Antillean violated 46 CFR 520.10 of the Commission's tariff filing regulations, by failing to publish historical data in its tariff. In compromise of these allegations, Antillean made a payment of $60,000.
Cap Barbell, Inc., Body Q, Inc. and Hepta Run, Inc. Cap Barbell, Inc. ("Cap Barbell") and Body Q, Inc. ("Body Q") are proprietary shippers affiliated through common ownership and located in Houston, TX. Hepta Run, Inc. ("Hepta Run"), an affiliate of Cap Barbell and Body Q, is a licensed OTI also located in Houston, TX. It was alleged that these parties violated sections 10(a)(1), 10(b)(2)(A) and 10(b)(11) of the 1984 Act by permitting unlawful access to service contracts, by accessing service contracts to which they were not signatory and by providing transportation services to OTIs without tariffs, bonds or licenses. In addition, it was alleged that Hepta Run violated 46 CFR 515.12(d) of the Commission's regulations by failing to provide proper information to the Commission. In compromise of these allegations, Cap Barbell, Body Q and Hepta Run made a payment of $180,000.
Hub Shipping Company, Inc. and Hub Forwarding Company, Inc. Hub Shipping Company, Inc., d/b/a Hub Logistics ("Hub Shipping") and Hub Forwarding Company, Inc. ("Hub Forwarding") are affiliated companies located in Cohasset, MA. Hub Shipping is a licensed NVOCC and Hub Forwarding is a licensed freight forwarder. It was alleged that Hub Forwarding received forwarding compensation on shipments made under a Hub Shipping service contract in violation of section 19(e) of the 1984 Act and 46 CFR 515.42 of the Commission's regulations. Under the terms of the compromise, the companies made a payment of $35,000.
Margaret J. Zimmer. Margaret J. Zimmer ("Zimmer"), a sole proprietor, is a licensed OTI located in Houston, TX. It was alleged that Zimmer violated section 19(a) of the 1984 Act and 46 CFR 515.31(a) and 32(b) of the Commission's regulations by operating as an OTI prior to the issuance of a license, by conducting business under a name other than the licensee and by entering into an agreement with an unlicensed entity resulting in the receipt of compensation by the unlicensed entity. Zimmer made a payment of $20,000 in compromise of these allegations.
MP Lines De Mexico, S.A. de C.V. MP Lines De Mexico, S.A. de C.V. d/b/a MP Lines, located in Mexico City, Mexico, previously held itself out as a VOCC in the US trades, but does not operate any vessels in the US trades. It was alleged that MP Lines violated section 19(a) of the 1984 Act by operating as an OTI without license, bond or tariff and acted in violation of sections 8 and 10(b) by failing to provided transportation services in accordance with the routes, rules and rates set forth in its published tariff. In compromise of these allegations, MP Lines made a payment of $45,000.
Sea-Line-Cargo, Inc. Sea-Line-Cargo, Inc. is an NVOCC located in New York, New York. It was alleged that Sea-Line violated section 19 of the 1984 Act by acting as an OTI without having published a tariff, without furnishing an OTI bond, and without first obtaining an OTI license, and that Sea-Line violated section 10(a)(1) of the 1984 Act by unlawfully entering into service contracts in the trades between the United States and the Dominican Republic. Sea-Line made monetary payment to the Commission in the amount of $25,000.
Star Trans Container Line Ltd., Star Trans-Pacific International Forwarding Co. Ltd., Star Airfreight Company Limited and Star Airfreight Company Limited (California). Star Trans Container Line Ltd. ("Star Hong Kong") and Star Trans-Pacific International Forwarding Co. Ltd. ("Star Shanghai"), are tariffed and bonded NVOCCs; Star Airfreight Company Limited (New York) ("Star NY"), and Star Airfreight Company Limited (California) ("Star CA") are their U.S. destination agents. It was alleged that Star HK and Star Shanghai violated section 10(a)(1) by obtaining and allowing other persons to obtain ocean transportation at less than the otherwise applicable rates by means of false weighing, false measurement, and/or commodity misdescription and/or by permitting other shippers to unlawfully access their service contracts. It also was alleged that Star HK violated section 10(b)(2) by providing ocean transportation not in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in its published NVOCC tariff, and that Star NY and Star CA provided OTI services without first obtaining an OTI license or bond, in violation of section 19 of the 1984 Act. In compromise of these allegations, the Star companies paid the sum of $85,000.
Zen Continental Co. Inc. and Sunway Line Inc. Zen Continental Co. Inc. ("Zen Continental") is a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder with offices in Paramount, CA. Sunway Line Inc. ("Sunway") is a licensed NVOCC co-located with Zen Continental in Paramount, CA. It was alleged that Zen Continental unlawfully collected forwarder compensation on shipments booked on behalf of its related NVOCC, Sunway, and failed to seek prior Commission approval of changes in the licensees' organization and qualifying individuals, in violation of sections 19 (a) and (e) of the 1984 Act and 46 CFR 515 of the Commission's regulations. Under the terms of the compromise, Zen Continental and Sunway paid the sum of $79,000.
In concluding the above compromises, the parties did not admit any violation 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, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, South Florida and Washington, DC. Staff attorneys with the Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the compromise agreements.