Thursday, July 26, 2018

Federal Maritime Commission at it Again as NVOCCs Penalised

Another Tranche of Penalties for US Carriers
Shipping News Feature
US – The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) completed compromise agreements with eight non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs), recovering a total of $618,000 in civil penalties. The agreed penalties resulted from investigations conducted by the Commission's Area Representatives in Houston, and New York/New Jersey, and by Washington DC headquarters staff, and as to be expected, the parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or Commission regulations. The Respondents and the alleged violations are:

Blue Cargo Group – a licenced NVOCC based in Miami, Florida. It is alleged that between August 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016, Blue Cargo knowingly and wilfully obtained ocean transportation at less than the rates or charges that would otherwise be applicable by improperly utilising rates contained in service contracts limited to certain ‘named accounts’. Blue Cargo has been penalised $75,000.

Trans Orient Express – a licenced NVOCC based in Los Angeles, California. Between June 3, 2015 and April 21, 2016, Trans Orient Express knowingly and wilfully obtained ocean transportation for property at less than the rates or charges that would otherwise be applicable by the device or means of improperly utilising rates limited to certain ‘named accounts’ in a K Line service contract. Trans Orient Express has been fined $70,000 to settle the allegations.

Bondex Logistics – a registered NVOCC based in China. Bondex knowingly and wilfully obtained ocean transportation at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by improperly utilising rates limited to certain ‘named accounts’ in MSC service contracts. It was also alleged that the company provided service in the liner trade that was not in accordance with its published tariff. Bondex agreed to $73,000 to settle the allegations.

Jiangsu Feiliks International Logistics – a registered NVOCC located in China. It is alleged that between January 2015 and June 2015 the company knowingly and wilfully allowed another NVOCC to access its service contracts and thereby unlawfully permitted a non-contract party to enjoy the benefits of K Line service contracts contrary to the terms of its contract with the ocean common carrier. Jiangsu Feiliks has been penalised $85,000.

North Star World Trade Service –a licensed NVOCC and freight forwarder, in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. It is alleged that Respondent operated without a Qualifying Individual for a period in excess of one year. North Star have been fined $35,000.

Walmay Logistics – a licenced NVOCC in Diamond Bar, California. Between June 14, 2015 and April 19, 2016, Walmay allegedly knowingly and wilfully permitted an unrelated, non-signatory party to access COSCO service contract, thereby obtaining ocean transportation for such third party at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise apply. Walmay has been penalised $75,000.

Prime Shipping International, dba Prime Agency – a licenced NVOCC based in City of Industry, California. It was alleged that between January 8, 2015 and June 27, 2015, the company knowingly and wilfully unlawfully accessed service contracts from K Line to which it was not a party. In doing so, Prime obtained ocean transportation at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise apply. Prime were penalised $120,000.

SWAT International – Jamaica, New York based licenced NVOCC. It has been alleged that the company knowingly and wilfully obtained ocean transportation for less than applicable rates and charges by unlawfully accessing a K Line contract to which it was not a party, between June 2015 and March 2016. SWAT international have been fined $85,000