March 13 - In the USA, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that it has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of USD350,000 in civil penalties.

The agreements were reached with a vessel-operating common carrier (VOCC) and three non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCC) and the agreed penalties resulted from investigations conducted by FMC area representatives in Los Angeles, and Washington DC headquarters staff.

The parties settled and agreed to penalties, but did not admit to violations of the Shipping Act or the Commission's regulations.

The VOCC is Rickmers-Linie and the FMC statement states that 'as part of the line's corporate modernisation and expansion programme, Rickmers voluntarily contacted the Commission's Bureau of Enforcement to disclose certain service contract and tariff violations of the Shipping Act with respect to its breakbulk and container operations. The BOE and Rickmers also determined that, since 2012, Rickmers-Linie had operated pursuant to an unfiled space charter agreement with a small, regional carrier primarily involved in inter-Asia service. This agreement has since been filed with the Commission. Rickmers-Linie made a payment of USD190,000 in compromise of these allegations.'