FMC Reaches Agreement in Civil Penalties

The Federal Maritime Commission has completed seven compromise agreements, recovering a total of $617,500 in civil penalties. The agreements were reached with nine non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and freight forwarders located in the U.S. and abroad. Among these companies are East-West Logistics, Versatile International Corp. (DBA King Yang Shipping), Whale Logistics, Koil (DBA VShip Co.), China International Freight, UTi United States, Top Shipping Logistics, City Ocean Logistics and City Ocean International.

The penalties resulted from alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984, after FMC’s area representatives conducted investigations in the Seattle, South Florida, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. headquarters offices. Bureau of Enforcement staff attorneys negotiated the deals, and the parties settled and agreed to penalties, although they did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act.

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero said in a written statement “The commission remains committed to protecting the shipping public from unfair and deceptive practices”.

Some of the compromise agreements included allegations of mis-describing commodities shipped under certain service contracts to avoid higher rates, allegations of obtaining transportation under contracts to which it was not a party and providing liner transportation for rates not in accordance its published tariffs, failing to maintain a general tariff covering all points or ports on its own routes and established through transportation routes . The full description of the agreements can be found on the FMC official website.

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