SIGNALS™ provides detailed information on the regulations and activities of the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and related developments in the ocean freight industry. For past issues, please consult our index.

FMC Collects USD 925,000 in Penalty Payments

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has announced it recently entered into compromise agreements recovering a total of USD 925,000 in civil penalties. The agreements were reached with eight non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and one unlicensed company. The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or Commission regulations. A summary of these compromise agreements as follows; each company name listed below is linked to a copy of the actual agreement, which provides further details, including penalty amounts.

In separate compromise agreements with NVOCCs Brilliant Group Logistics Corp., of Valley Stream, NY; King Freight (USA), Inc., of Cerritos, CA; Interglobo North America Inc., of Jersey City, NJ; Fastic Transportation Co., Ltd., of Shanghai, PRC; and Pudong Prime Int’l Logistics, Inc., of El Monte, CA, it was alleged by FMC that these NVOCCs each knowingly and willfully obtained transportation at less than applicable rates and charges by improperly utilizing rates contained in service contracts limited to certain named shipper accounts for unrelated shipments of cargo. Each compromise agreement also alleged that the NVOCC provided transportation in the liner trade that was not in accordance with its published tariff. In addition, Brilliant Group Logistics Corp. was alleged to have operated without a Qualifying Individual (QI) for a period in excess of one year. In compromise of these allegations, Brilliant Group Logistics Corp. paid USD 100,000; King Freight (USA), Inc. paid USD 90,000; Interglobo North America Inc. paid USD 150,000; Fastic Transportation Co., Ltd. paid USD 110,000; Pudong Prime Int’l Logistics, Inc. paid USD 100,000.

The joint compromise agreement FMC entered into with NVOCCs Seamaster Logistics, Inc., of Diamond Bar, CA, and Toll Global Forwarding (Hong Kong) Limited, of Hong Kong, alleged these two NVOCCs knowingly and willfully allowed another NVOCC to access their service contracts for a fee, and thereby unlawfully permitted a non-contract party to enjoy the benefits of service contracts contrary to its contract with the respective ocean common carrier. It was also alleged that these NVOCCs provided ocean transportation in the liner trade that was not in accordance with their published tariffs. Seamaster Logistics, Inc. and Toll Global Forwarding (Hong Kong) Limited paid USD 275,000, in the joint compromise of these allegations.

The compromise agreement with Pacific International Import Export, LLC, of Auburn, WA, alleged that this company acted as an NVOCC without the required license, bond, or a published tariff. Pacific International Import Export, LLC paid USD 30,000 in compromise of the allegation.

The compromise agreement with licensed NVOCC A-Sonic Logistics (USA), Inc., of Valley Stream, NY, alleged that this NVOCC knowingly and willfully accepted cargo from one or more ocean transportation intermediaries that did not have a published tariff, bond or other surety as required by the Shipping Act. It was also alleged that this NVOCC provided transportation that was not in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in its published tariff. A-Sonic Logistics (USA), Inc. paid USD 70,000 in compromise of these allegations.

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Transpacific Eastbound Carriers File GRIs Effective September 1, 2017

Carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223 serving the East Asia/USA trade lanes (U.S. Imports) updated their respective tariffs to include new General Rate Increases (GRIs) effective September 1, 2017, including APL, CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai, OOCL, and Yang Ming. K Line and NYK are no longer carrier members, but filed similar GRIs in their respective FMC tariffs. See table below for GRI amounts per 40ft container; GRI amounts for all other container sizes are as per formula. For some carriers, this September GRI will be the tenth GRI of 2017 for the East Asia/USA trade lane.

GENERAL RATE INCREASE (GRI), Effective September 1, 2017
in USD, per 40ft ctr
Hapag Lloyd
K Line
Yang Ming

The TSA Carrier group web site at provides additional information; however, each carrier maintains its own tariffs and controls its own pricing.

The TSA's 10 member carriers are: American President Lines, CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping, OOCL, and Yang Ming Marine.

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