Summary: H.R.9518 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (10/06/1978)

(Measure passed Senate, amended)

Shipping Act Amendments - Amends the Shipping Act, 1916, by increasing the civil penalties for the giving or receiving of lower shipping rates through such means as false billings, weight and classifications, from up to $5,000 up to $25,000 for each violation. Increases the civil penalties from up to $1,000 per day up to $5,000 per day for failure to file a tariff, the charging of rates other than those set forth in the tariffs, and changes in tariffs without proper notice.

Increases the civil penalties for rebating from up to $1,000 per day up to $25,000 per shipment, and provides for suspension of any or all of the carriers' tariffs or right to utilize conference tariffs for a period of up to 12 months. Sets a penalty of not more than $50,000 per shipment for the carriage of cargo during a suspension period.

Authorizes the Federal Maritime Commission to require certifications from carriers, shippers, consignors, consignees, forwarders, brokers and other persons subject to such Act, which attest to company policies and efforts to combat rebating, and state certain other information. Provides a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per day of violation for failure to file such certification.

Authorizes the Commission to institute adjudicatory investigations into rebating violations.

Authorizes the Commission, in connection with an adjudicatory proceeding into possible illegal rebating, to issue an order to show cause why the tariffs of a carrier or its rights to utilize a conference tariff, should not be suspended for failure to respond to the pertinent deposition, interrogatory, production request or motion or subpena. Authorizes the Commission, after consultation with the Secretary of State, to suspend such tariffs of the respondent carrier's rights to such tariffs, if the carrier has failed to respond. Provides a civil penalty of up to $50,000 for each shipment accepted in violation of such suspension period. Provides for a veto of such suspension by the President if he finds that it is necessary for reasons of national defense or U.S. foreign policy.

Directs the Secretary of State to: (1) take appropriate steps to negotiate a regime of cooperation with other maritime nations engaged in United States foreign trades; (2) secure compliance with the Commission's information requirements; and (3) report to the President and the Congress on the results of such negotiations. Directs the President to so certify to the Congress if such steps have proven satisfactory. Stipulates that if such certification is not made, the penalties for failure to comply with information requests shall be mandatory.

Provides that no penalty shall be imposed on any person for conspiracy to rebate or refund, or to defraud the Commission by concealment of such rebates or refunds in any manner, after August 29, 1972. Authorizes the Commission to assess or compromise all civil penalties provided in such Act.