FEBRUARY 14, 2014 — Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL) has agreed to pay $1,275,000 in penalties under a compromise agreement with the Federal Maritime Commission. The agreement between the FMC and MOL and its corporate affiliate Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co. (NMCC) resolves allegations that MOL and NMCC 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 shipment of automobiles and other motorized vehicles by RO/RO or specialized car carrier vessels, where such agreement(s) had not been filed with the FMC or become effective under the Shipping Act.
Commission staff alleged that these practices persisted over a period of several years and involved numerous U.S. trade lanes.
Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero stated: “This is the second public announcement in recent months of Commission enforcement action against parties who fail to file carrier agreements. We take seriously our statutory responsibility under the Shipping Act to protect the shipping public and to ensure that agreements affecting carrier working relationships in the U.S. trades are properly filed and reviewed by the Commission.”
In concluding the compromise, MOL and NMCC agreed to provide ongoing cooperation with other FMC investigations or enforcement actions with respect to these activities. The carriers did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act. Staff attorneys with the FMC’s Bureau of Enforcement negotiated the compromise agreement.