Friday, September 18, 2015

Another RoRo Car Carrier Hit with Fine by Federal Maritime Commission

Comparatively Just a Slap on the Wrist After Cooperation Given
Shipping News Feature

US – NORWAY – The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has completed a compromise agreement with Siem Car Carriers AS, a vessel-operating common carrier based in Oslo, Norway, after submitting a voluntary disclosure to the Commission, earlier this year, identifying certain unfiled space charter agreements with respect to its provision of Roll On–Roll Off (RoRo) transport services for the movement of new and used automobiles and other rolling stock in US trades. These agreements had not been filed with the Commission or become effective under the Shipping Act, in violation of 46 U.S.C. § 41102(b).

Siem Car Carriers worked cooperatively with the Bureau of Enforcement to address and correct the potential violations, and has agreed to provide ongoing cooperation with other Commission investigations or enforcement actions with respect to these activities. In addition, all agreements in which Siem Car Carriers currently shares space with other RoRo operators have since been filed with the Commission. In light of the remedial measures undertaken and the voluntary nature of this disclosure, a compromise agreement was reached under which Siem Car Carriers paid $135,000 in penalties. FMC Chairman, Mario Cordero said:

"Carriers who fail to properly file their agreements affecting carrier working relationships in the US oceanborne trades are liable for civil penalties, no matter the size of the trade or the market share of the carrier involved. Voluntary disclosures can serve to diminish carrier exposure to very significant monetary penalties, while assisting the Commission’s regulatory efforts in pursuing other carriers involved in such unfiled space chartering arrangements."

With the huge penalties imposed on various other RoRo automotive carriers in the US during the past year Siem must be delighted that it has at least been used to demonstrate the power of the regulators.