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ONE & Wan Hai Lines pay civil penalties worth US$2.65 million

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SINGAPORE : Two ocean common carriers- 1) Ocean Network Express Ptd. Ltd. (ONE) and No 2)Wan Hai Lines (USA) Ltd entered into a compromise agreement with the FMC in April to resolve allegations it violated 46 U.S.C. § 41102(c) by assessing detention charges when appointments were unavailable during allocated free time to return equipment.

Under the terms of the agreement, ONE agreed to pay a US$1.7 million civil penalty. The agreement incorporates a significant new compromise provision whereby ONE agreed that in addition to paying civil penalties, it will also furnish restitution to impacted shippers in the form of refunds and waivers.

In concluding the compromise, ONE also stated its commitment to comply with the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022, as well as the Interpretative Rule on Detention and Demurrage.

Separately, the Commission reached a settlement agreement with Wan Hai Lines, Ltd. and Wan Hai Lines (USA) Ltd. to close an Order of Investigation and Hearing (Docket No. 21-16) issued by the Commission in December 2021.

Wan Hai agreed to pay US$950,000 in civil penalties to address allegations that it violated 46 U.S.C. § 41102(c) by failing to observe and enforce just and reasonable practices regarding its charges related to empty container returns.

In addition to payment of a civil penalty, Wan Hai refunded the impacted shippers all detention charges collected under the invoices at issue and has implemented corrective actions to prevent future violations and ensure compliance with the Commission’s Interpretive Rule on Detention and Demurrage.

“The agreements being announced today send a clear message to international shipping community that ocean carriers must fully comply with the U.S. legal obligations,” commented the Federal Maritime Commission Chairman, Daniel B. Maffei.

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