Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CSAV Fined for Illegal Agreements

By Mark Edward Nero

The Federal Maritime Commission on March 5 announced a compromise deal with vessel-operating common carrier CSAV regarding allegations that CSAV violated the Shipping Act by working with other ocean common carriers under unfiled agreements.

The allegations involved shipments of automobiles and other motorized vehicles on roll on/roll off (ro/ro) or specialized car carrier vessels in various US import and export trades. The shipping agreements had not been filed with the Commission or become effective under the Shipping Act, according to the FMC.

Commission staff says the practices persisted over a period of several years and involved numerous US trade lanes.

“The Shipping Act mandates that the Commission take responsible actions to protect the shipping public,” Maritime Commission Chair Mario Cordero said. “Carriers who fail to properly file with the Commission their agreements affecting carrier working relationships in the US trades are made liable for significant civil penalties, no matter the size of the trade or the market share of the carrier involved.”

CSAV (Compania Sud Americana de Vapores S.A.) is based in Chile. As a separate line of business, it operates ro/ro vessels in US inbound and outbound trades.

Under the agreement, the company wasn’t required to admit to violations of the Shipping Act, but agreed to pay a $625,000 civil penalty and to provide ongoing cooperation with other Commission investigations or enforcement actions with respect to its activities.