Resolving allegations for violating the Shipping Act
The Federal Maritime Commission announced a compromise agreement reached with Compania Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. (CSAV). CSAV is a vessel-operating common carrier based in Valparaiso, Chile. As a separate line of business, CSAV operates roll on/roll off (RO/RO) vessels in U.S. inbound and outbound trades.
Under the compromise agreement, CSAV agreed to pay a $625,000 civil penalty to resolve allegations that it violated the Shipping Act by acting in concert with other ocean common carriers under unfiled agreements involving shipments of automobiles and other motorized vehicles on RO/RO or specialized car carrier vessels in various U.S. import and export trades. These agreements had not been filed with the Commission or become effective under the Shipping Act in violation of Section 10(a) of the Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C. 41102(b). The compromise also addressed related activities and violations arising under such carrier agreements. Commission staff alleged that these practices persisted over a period of several years and involved numerous U.S. trade lanes.
In concluding the compromise, CSAV agreed to provide ongoing cooperation with other Commission investigations or enforcement actions with respect to these activities. CSAV did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act.
Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero stated: “The Shipping Act mandates that the Commission take responsible actions to protect the shipping public. Carriers who fail to properly file with the Commission their agreements affecting carrier working relationships in the U.S. trades are made liable for significant civil penalties, no matter the size of the trade or the market share of the carrier involved.”