Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Affiliate Pay $1.5 Million Penalty
Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero announced that the Commission has reached a compromise agreement with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL) and its corporate affiliate, Eukor Car Carriers, Inc. (Eukor), collecting a combined $1.5 million in civil penalties. WWL, headquartered in Norway, and Eukor, based in Korea, are vessel-operating common carriers operating Roll On/Roll Off (RO/RO) and pure car carrier vessels in the U.S. import and export trades.
The compromise agreement resolved allegations that WWL and Eukor violated section 10(a) of the Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C. § 41102(b), by acting in concert with other ocean common carriers with respect to the transportation of automobiles and other motorized vehicles by RO/RO or specialized car carrier vessels, where such agreements had not been filed with the Commission or become effective under the Shipping Act. Commission staff alleged that these practices persisted over an extended period of time and involved numerous U.S. trade lanes. In addition, the compromise resolved allegations that the carriers had failed to file certain space charter agreements or provided transportation under certain service contracts that had not been filed.
Chairman Cordero stated: “This settlement is one of several similar enforcement actions against major players in the car carrier industry who elected to provide transportation under agreements concealed from the Commission and the shipping public. The penalties exacted by the Commission reflect the seriousness with which Commission views its responsibility to protect the shipping public from such unfair carrier practices. It is only through carrier adherence to their statutory obligation to file agreements that the Commission can fulfill its mission and its responsibility to shippers and competing carriers.”
In concluding the compromise, WWL and Eukor agreed to provide ongoing cooperation with other Commission investigations or enforcement actions with respect to these activities. The carriers did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act. Staff attorneys with the Commission’s Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the compromise agreement.
The Federal Maritime Commission is responsible for regulating the Nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The Commission’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.