Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero announced that the Commission has completed a compromise agreement with Siem Car Carriers AS, a vessel-operating common carrier based in Oslo, Norway. Earlier this year, Siem Car Carriers submitted a voluntary disclosure to the Commission, identifying certain unfiled space charter agreements with respect to its provision of Roll On–Roll Off (RO-RO) transport services for the movement of new and used automobiles and other rolling stock in U.S. trades. These agreements had not been filed with the Commission or become effective under the Shipping Act, in violation of 46 U.S.C. § 41102(b).
Siem Car Carriers worked cooperatively with the Bureau of Enforcement to address and correct the potential violations. The carrier has agreed to provide ongoing cooperation with other Commission investigations or enforcement actions with respect to these activities. In addition, all agreements in which Siem Car Carriers currently shares space with other RO-RO operators have since been filed with the Commission. In light of the remedial measures undertaken and the voluntary nature of this disclosure, a compromise agreement was reached under which Siem Car Carriers paid $135,000 in penalties.
Chairman Cordero stated: “Carriers who fail to properly file their agreements affecting carrier working relationships in the U.S. oceanborne trades are liable for civil penalties, no matter the size of the trade or the market share of the carrier involved. Voluntary disclosures can serve to diminish carrier exposure to very significant monetary penalties, while assisting the Commission’s regulatory efforts in pursuing other carriers involved in such unfiled space chartering arrangements.”