The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that it has reached a compromise agreement with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL) and Eukor Car Carriers, Inc., collecting a combined $1.5 million in civil penalties. The agreement resolved allegations that the companies violated the Shipping Act by acting in concert with other ocean common carriers with respect to the transportation of automobiles and other motorized vehicles by Ro/Ro or specialized car carrier vessels.
The compromise agreement resolved allegations that WWL and Eukor violated section 10(a) of the Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C. § 41102(b), by acting in concert with other ocean common carriers with respect to the transportation of automobiles and other motorized vehicles by RO/RO or specialized car carrier vessels, where such agreements had not been filed with the Commission or become effective under the Shipping Act.
Commission staff alleged that these practices persisted over an extended period of time and involved numerous U.S. trade lanes. In addition, the compromise resolved allegations that the carriers had failed to file certain space charter agreements or provided transportation under certain service contracts that had not been filed.
Chairman Cordero stated:
“This settlement is one of several similar enforcement actions against major players in the car carrier industry who elected to provide transportation under agreements concealed from the Commission and the shipping public. The penalties exacted by the Commission reflect the seriousness with which Commission views its responsibility to protect the shipping public from such unfair carrier practices. It is only through carrier adherence to their statutory obligation to file agreements that the Commission can fulfill its mission and its responsibility to shippers and competing carriers.”
In concluding the compromise, WWL and Eukor agreed to provide ongoing cooperation with other Commission investigations or enforcement actions with respect to these activities. The carriers did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act. Staff attorneys with the Commission’s Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the compromise agreement.
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