The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that it has entered into compromise agreements recovering a total of USD 1,227,500 in civil penalties. The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or the Commission’s regulations. Details are as follows:
United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) is a VOCC based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was alleged that UASC violated the Shipping Act by unlawfully rebating to an NVOCC customer a portion of the applicable service contract rate in the form of an administrative fee not identified in the service contract, and for which no services were provided. FMC also alleged UASC provided transportation not in accordance with the rates and charges in its published tariff. Under the terms of the compromise, UASC paid USD 537,500 to the Commission.
Falcon Maritime and Aviation Inc. is an NVOCC based in Jamaica, NY. FMC alleged that Falcon Maritime and Aviation violated the Shipping Act by unlawfully obtaining rebates from a VOCC of a portion of the applicable service contract rate in the form of an administrative fee not identified in the service contract, and for which no services were provided. Falcon Maritime and Aviation paid USD 85,000 to the Commission.
City Ocean Logistics Co., Ltd., City Ocean International, Inc., and CTC International Inc. are related companies based in Shenzhen, China and Diamond Bar, California. All three operated as NVOCCs, and City Ocean International, Inc. and CTC International Inc were also licensed by FMC as ocean freight forwarders. FMC alleged that City Ocean Logistics and City Ocean International knowingly and willfully obtained ocean transportation for property at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by improperly utilizing rates limited to certain “named accounts” in service contracts. CTC International was alleged to have unlawfully collected forwarder compensation. All three companies were alleged to have provided transportation that was not in accordance with their published tariffs. The three companies jointly made a payment of USD 325,000 to FMC in compromise, and CTC International surrendered its FMC license.
Oriental Logistics Group Limited, an NVOCC based in Taipei, Taiwan, was alleged to have violated the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation at less than applicable rates by misrepresenting the names of shipper accounts under one of its service contracts, and by mis-describing cargo moved under this contract, and by providing transportation not in accordance with in its published tariff. Oriental Logistics Group made a payment to FMC of USD 100,000.
Hyundai Logistics (USA), Inc. is an NVOCC and ocean freight forwarder based in La Mirada, CA. Commission staff alleged that Hyundai Logistics (USA) violated the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation at less than applicable rates by means of improperly allowing third parties to access service contracts to which it was the contract signatory. Hyundai Logistics (USA) paid USD 100,000 to FMC.
Sea Gate Logistics Inc. is an NVOCC and freight forwarder based in Valley Stream, NY. FMC alleged that Sea Gate Logistics violated the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation at less than applicable rates by improperly obtaining access to service contracts to which it was not the contract signatory, and by providing transportation not in accordance with its published tariff. Sea Gate Logistics paid USD 80,000.
Several carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223 serving the East Asia/USA trade lanes, will reduce bunker surcharges (BAF) effective October 1, 2015. TSA recommended inland fuel charges will decrease to USD 211 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU). The Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF) on shipments from Japan will remain at 0%. BAF effective October 1 are as follows:
To US Atlantic/Gulf Coast Ports * (decreased)
To US Pacific Coast Ports * (decreased)
To IPI/MLB via US Pacific Coast */** (decreased)
USD 646 per 40ft ctr ( ↓ )
USD 357 per 40ft ctr ( ↓ )
USD 568 per 40ft ctr ( ↓ )
Recommended BAF amounts shown with the asterisk (*) include the low-sulfur fuel component. For IPI/MLB destinations, the BAF includes both low-sulfur fuel component and the Inland Fuel Surcharge (IFS) component (**). BAF for other container sizes is as per formula. These amounts are effective thru December 31, 2015.
Several carrier members have postponed the effective date of their General Rate Increases (GRIs) of USD 600 per FEU from September 1, 2015 to September 15, 2015, including American President Lines (APL), COSCO, CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hanjin, Hyundai, and Yang Ming. GRI amounts for all other container sizes are as per formula. Hapag Lloyd postponed its GRI for shipments from the Indian Subcontinent (ISC) from September 1 to October 1, 2015, and the amount will be USD 200 per FEU. OOCL cancelled this GRI.
Several TSA carrier members implemented a Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) of USD 400 per FEU effective August 15, 2015, including APL, CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen, Hanjin, Hyundai, K Line, and Yang Ming. However, several carriers filed exceptions. Evergreen reduced its PSS to USD 100 per FEU for shipments received Aug 20 thru Sep 14, 2015 to the USWC/G4; to USD 200 per FEU for shipments to other inland locations via USWC (except G4 States); and to USD 0 for shipments to all other US destinations during this period. Hyundai reduced its PSS to USD 50 per FEU for Aug 20-31, 2015 for shipments to USWC ports; to USD 100 per FEU to IPI; to USD 0 per FEU for EC & RIPI. APL and Evergreen postponed their PSS for shipments from the Indian Subcontinent until Sep 1, 2015, and reduced it to USD 200 per FEU. OOCL filed a similar PSS reduction for Indian Subcontinent shipments and postponed the effective date to Sep 15, 2015.
The TSA’s fifteen member carriers are American President Lines, China Shipping Container Lines, CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Hyundai Merchant Marine, “K” Line, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping, NYK Line, OOCL, Yang Ming Marine, and Zim Integrated Shipping Services. The group’s website at www.tsacarriers.org provides additional information; however, each carrier maintains its own tariffs and controls its own pricing.
Several members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement Westbound (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223, whose member carriers serve the USA/East Asia trade lanes, will adjust bunker surcharges (BAF) for the October to December 2015 quarter to USD 672 per 20′ dry container, USD 840 per 40’/45′ dry container, and USD 1077 per 40’/45′ reefer container for shipments from and via U.S. Atlantic/Gulf Coast Ports. BAF for shipments from or via U.S. Pacific Coast Ports remain the same at USD 374 per 20′ dry container, USD 467 per 40’/45′ dry container, and USD 614 per 40’/45′ reefer container. The Inland Fuel Charges (IFC) for the Oct-Dec 2015 quarter will decrease to USD 211 per container for rail and intermodal rail/truck shipments and USD 61 per container for local/regional truck shipments. CAF on shipments to Taiwan will remain at 6%, and to Singapore increase from 18% to 19%, thru December 31, 2015. Some carrier members filed General Rate Increases (GRI) on dry cargo of USD 300 per FEU effective October 1, 2015.