Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Federal Maritime Commission Fines California Companies

The Federal Maritime Commission has fined six companies a total of $383,000 for alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984, including two companies in the Los Angeles area.

The penalties, which were announced in mid-November, resulted from investigations conducted by the FMC area representatives in New York, South Florida, Los Angeles and Washington DC.

One of the West Coast companies that agreed to pay penalties was Greating Shipping Co., a licensed non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) in Alhambra, California. Greating Shipping was alleged to have violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining ocean transportation for property at less than the rates and charges that would otherwise be applicable by the device or means of “misdescription” of the commodities shipped under certain service contracts with K-Line.

Greating Shipping made a payment of $68,000 in compromise of these allegations.

The other company was Proshipping Group Corp., a licensed and bonded NVOCC in City of Industry, California.

The Maritime Commission alleged that Proshipping violated section 10(a)(1) of the Shipping Act by knowingly and willfully obtaining transportation under service contracts to which Proshipping was not a contract signatory, and violated section 10(b)(2)(A) of the Shipping Act by providing service other than at the rates and charges in its tariff. Proshipping made a payment of $60,000 to settle the case.

The other three NVOCCs agreeing to pay fines to settle cases against them were China-based King Shipping Co.; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida-based American Freight Line – Southeast, Inc.; and Jamaica, NY-based U.S. Pacific Transport Inc.

Additionally, Icon Logistics Service, a business entity based in Laurel, Maryland was fined $20,000 for allegedly acting as a NVOCC without obtaining an FMC license as an ocean transportation intermediary.