Another Ro/Ro Operator Agrees to Pay FMC Fines

On February 12, 2014, the Federal Maritime Commission announced that it has entered into an agreement with another ro/ro operator to pay $1.275 million in penalties in connection with allegations that it violated the Shipping Act by failing to file with the Commission agreements with other common carriers pertaining to the shipment of vehicles. The announcement comes on the heels of the Commission’s December 23, 2013 press release announcing $2.4 million in settlements with two other ro/ro operators for a similar alleged offenses. The Commission’s intensified interest in this sector operates as a stern reminder that its authority extends beyond the container trade, and that virtually all agreements between vessel owning common carriers should be examined closely to ensure compliance with the Shipping Act and related filing requirements.