Again some news from the USA FMC:
The Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero announced that the Commission has entered into compromise agreements recovering a total of USD 962,500 in civil penalties. The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or FMC regulations. The agreements are:
Hyundai Glovis Co., Ltd. was alleged to have violated the Shipping Act by participating under certain space charter agreements with other carriers which had not been filed with the Commission or not yet effective. This South Korean based a vessel-operating common carrier paid USD 157,500 in compromise of these allegations.
LF Logistics (China) Ltd. and LF Logistics USA LLC are NVOCCs based in Shanghai and New York, were alleged to have knowingly and willfully obtained ocean transportation at less than rates and charges that would be otherwise applicable by improperly using rates limited to certain named accounts in their service contracts for cargo of other accounts. It was also alleged that both LF Logistics companies allowed other ocean transportation intermediaries to access certain of their service contracts to which such other OTIs were not signatories or affiliates. These two companies paid USD 180,000 in compromise of these allegations.
RS Logistics Limited (RS), a Hong Kong based NVOCC, was alleged to have knowingly and willfully accessed service contracts to which it was not a signatory, and to have charged its customers freight rates and charges that were not in accordance with its published tariff. RS paid USD 75,000 in penalties.
United Transport Tankcontainers, Inc. (UTT), an NVOCC based in Houston, TX, was alleged to have operated without a Qualifying Individual for a period in excess of one year. Pursuant to the terms of its compromise agreement, UTT paid a penalty of USD 30,000.
Honour Lane Shipping Limited of Hong Kong (Honour Lane), Global Ocean Agency Lines, L.L.C. of Barrington, IL (GOAL) and World Express Shipping, Transportation and Forwarding Services, Inc. (WEST) of Middleburg Heights, OH, collectively made a monetary payment in the amount of USD 300,000 in compromise of alleged Shipping Act violations. These three NVOCCs were alleged to have collaborated in an arrangement whereby Honour Lane knowingly and willfully allowed GOAL and WEST access to certain contracts between Honour Lane and several ocean carriers to which neither GOAL nor WEST was a party, and that GOAL and WEST, in turn, obtained transportation of property at less than the rates and charges that were otherwise applicable by improperly accessing those contracts.
Worldwide Container Transfer, Corp. (WCT), and U-Ocean USA, Corp. (U-Ocean), both based in South San Francisco, CA, made a joint payment of USD 220,000 in civil penalties. FMC alleged that WCT obtained ocean transportation at less than applicable rates and charges by improperly accessing service contracts to which it was not a signatory, and also provided service not in accordance with the rates and charges in their published tariffs. It was also alleged that both WCT and U-Ocean operated without a Qualifying Individual for a period in excess of one year in violation of Commission regulations.