FMC Collects $764,500 In Penalties:Compromise Agreements Announced
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that it has recently entered into compromise agreements which
resulted in the collection of a total of $764,000 in civil penalties. These agreements are the result of
investigations by the FMC’s Bureau of Enforcement into violations of the Shipping Acts by ocean carriers, NVOCCs and
unlicensed entities. In concluding these compromises, the parties involved did not admit any violation of the
Shipping Acts, and did not surrender any licenses. Details are as follows:
Air Sea Transport Inc. et al. A group of four “Air Sea Companies” entered into a joint settlement
agreement with the FMC to settle alleged violations of the Shipping Acts involving the misdescription of
commodities. The Air Sea Companies are comprised of Air Sea Transport Inc., a Taiwanese corporation; Air Sea
Transport, Inc., a California corporation; Bondex China Co. Ltd., a Chinese corporation; and Bondex Air & Sea
Logistics, Inc., a California corporation. The first three named companies each have separate NVOCC tariffs and
bonds; Bondex Air & Sea Logistics is an applicant for OTI licensing. The FMC alleged that the Air Sea Companies
obtained transportation of property at less than the applicable rates and charges by means of misdescription of the
commodities shipped. The Air Sea Companies jointly paid FMC the sum of $60,000 to settle these allegations.
Bernuth Lines Ltd. This vessel operating common carrier located in Miami, Florida was alleged to have
violated the Shipping Acts by providing service in the Caribbean and South America liner trades at rates and charges
other than those contained in its published tariffs. Bernuth paid FMC the sum of $110,000 to settle.
De Well Container Shipping Corp. This New York based OTI-NVOCC acted as a service contract signatory and
consignee on shipments from Shanghai, PRC that were misdescribed as to commodity, in apparent violation of the
Shipping Act. Under the terms of the compromise, De Well Container paid the sum of $50,000.
Dole Ocean Cargo Express (Dole) of Jacksonville, Florida and King Ocean Central America, S.A. (King
Ocean) of Miami, Florida are separately owned vessel operating common carriers participating in the Central America
trades. The FMC alleged that Dole and King Ocean violated sections 5(a) and 10(a)(2) of the 1984 Act by failing to
file a slot allocation agreement in a timely manner, and by knowingly and willfully operating pursuant to this
unfiled agreement. Dole and King Ocean each made a payments of $40,000 to the FMC.
Eurasia Freight Service Inc. and Eurasia Express Co., Ltd. Eurasia Freight Service, Inc. (Eurasia Freight)
is a tariffed, bonded and licensed NVOCC, with offices in Jamaica, New York and Los Angeles, CA. Eurasia Express
Co., Ltd. (Eurasia Express) is not registered with the FMC; it is based in Shanghai, PRC, and serves primarily as
origin/destination agent for Eurasia Freight. It was alleged that Eurasia Freight and Eurasia Express intentionally
misdescribed commodities shipped. In addition, Eurasia Express executed service contracts and issued NVOCC bills of
lading without having a valid tariff or bond in effect. Under the compromise, the parties paid $80,000 to the FMC.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines AS, (WWL), a vessel operating common carrier located in Oslo, Norway, was
alleged to have violated FMC regulations by filing and maintaining service contracts having incomplete, inaccurate
or no certifications of shipper status. WWL paid $37,500 in settlement of these allegations.