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§ 1709. Prohibited acts

(a) In general
No person may—
(1) knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly, by means of false billing, false classification, false weighing, false report of weight, false measurement, or by any other unjust or unfair device or means obtain or attempt to obtain ocean transportation for property at less than the rates or charges that would otherwise be applicable;
(2) operate under an agreement required to be filed under section 1704 of this Appendix that has not become effective under section 1705 of this Appendix, or that has been rejected, disapproved, or canceled; or
(3) operate under an agreement required to be filed under section 1704 of this Appendix except in accordance with the terms of the agreement or any modifications made by the Commission to the agreement.
(b) Common carriers
No common carrier, either alone or in conjunction with any other person, directly or indirectly, may—
(1) allow any person to obtain transportation for property at less than the rates or charges established by the carrier in its tariff or service contract by means of false billing, false classification, false weighing, false measurement, or by any other unjust or unfair device or means;
(2) provide service in the liner trade that—
(A) is not in accordance with the rates, charges, classifications, rules, and practices contained in a tariff published or a service contract entered into under section 1707 of this Appendix unless excepted or exempted under section 1707 (a)(1) or 1715 of this Appendix; or
(B) is under a tariff or service contract which has been suspended or prohibited by the Commission under section 1708 of this Appendix or the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988 (46 App. U.S.C. 1710a);
(3) retaliate against any shipper by refusing, or threatening to refuse, cargo space accommodations when available, or resort to other unfair or unjustly discriminatory methods because the shipper has patronized another carrier, or has filed a complaint, or for any other reason;
(4) for service pursuant to a tariff, engage in any unfair or unjustly discriminatory practice in the matter of—
(A) rates or charges;
(B) cargo classifications;
(C) cargo space accommodations or other facilities, due regard being had for the proper loading of the vessel and the available tonnage;
(D) the loading and landing of freight; or
(E) the adjustment and settlement of claims;
(5) for service pursuant to a service contract, engage in any unfair or unjustly discriminatory practice in the matter of rates or charges with respect to any port;
(6) use a vessel or vessels in a particular trade for the purpose of excluding, preventing, or reducing competition by driving another ocean common carrier out of that trade;
(7) offer or pay any deferred rebates;
(8) for service pursuant to a tariff, give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage or impose any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage;
(9) for service pursuant to a service contract, give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage or impose any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage with respect to any port;
(10) unreasonably refuse to deal or negotiate;
(11) knowingly and willfully accept cargo from or transport cargo for the account of an ocean transportation intermediary that does not have a tariff and a bond, insurance, or other surety as required by sections 1707 and 1718 of this Appendix;
(12) knowingly and willfully enter into a service contract with an ocean transportation intermediary that does not have a tariff and a bond, insurance, or other surety as required by sections 1707 and 1718 of this Appendix, or with an affiliate of such ocean transportation intermediary; or
(13) knowingly disclose, offer, solicit, or receive any information concerning the nature, kind, quantity, destination, consignee, or routing of any property tendered or delivered to a common carrier without the consent of the shipper or consignee if that information—
(A) may be used to the detriment or prejudice of the shipper or consignee;
(B) may improperly disclose its business transaction to a competitor; or
(C) may be used to the detriment or prejudice of any common carrier.
Nothing in paragraph (13) shall be construed to prevent providing such information, in response to legal process, to the United States, the Commission, or to an independent neutral body operating within the scope of its authority to fulfill the policing obligations of the parties to an agreement effective under this chapter. Nor shall it be prohibited for any ocean common carrier that is a party to a conference agreement approved under this chapter, or any receiver, trustee, lessee, agent, or employee of that carrier, or any other person authorized by that carrier to receive information, to give information to the conference or any person, firm, corporation, or agency designated by the conference, or to prevent the conference or its designee from soliciting or receiving information for the purpose of determining whether a shipper or consignee has breached an agreement with the conference or its member lines or for the purpose of determining whether a member of the conference has breached the conference agreement, or for the purpose of compiling statistics of cargo movement, but the use of such information for any other purpose prohibited by this chapter or any other Act is prohibited.
(c) Concerted action
No conference or group of two or more common carriers may—
(1) boycott or take any other concerted action resulting in an unreasonable refusal to deal;
(2) engage in conduct that unreasonably restricts the use of intermodal services or technological innovations;
(3) engage in any predatory practice designed to eliminate the participation, or deny the entry, in a particular trade of a common carrier not a member of the conference, a group of common carriers, an ocean tramp, or a bulk carrier;
(4) negotiate with a nonocean carrier or group of nonocean carriers (for example, truck, rail, or air operators) on any matter relating to rates or services provided to ocean common carriers within the United States by those non-ocean carriers, unless such negotiations and any resulting agreements are not in violation of the antitrust laws and are consistent with the purposes of this chapter: Provided, That this paragraph does not prohibit the setting and publishing of a joint through rate by a conference, joint venture, or an association of ocean common carriers;
(5) deny in the export foreign commerce of the United States compensation to an ocean transportation intermediary, as defined by section 1702 (17)(A) of this Appendix, or limit that compensation to less than a reasonable amount;
(6) allocate shippers among specific carriers that are parties to the agreement or prohibit a carrier that is a party to the agreement from soliciting cargo from a particular shipper, except as authorized by section 1704 (g) of this Appendix, or as otherwise required by the law of the United States or the importing or exporting country, or as agreed to by a shipper in a service contract;
(7) for service pursuant to a service contract, engage in any unjustly discriminatory practice in the matter of rates or charges with respect to any locality, port, or persons due to those persons’ status as shippers’ associations or ocean transportation intermediaries; or
(8) for service pursuant to a service contract, give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage or impose any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage with respect to any locality, port, or persons due to those persons’ status as shippers’ associations or ocean transportation intermediaries;
(d) Common carriers, ocean transportation intermediaries, and marine terminal operators
(1) No common carrier, ocean transportation intermediary, or marine terminal operator may fail to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property.
(2) No marine terminal operator may agree with another marine terminal operator or with a common carrier to boycott, or unreasonably discriminate in the provision of terminal services to, any common carrier or ocean tramp.
(3) The prohibitions in subsections (b)(10) and (13) of this section apply to marine terminal operators.
(4) No marine terminal operator may give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage or impose any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage with respect to any person.
(5) The prohibition in subsection (b)(13) of this section applies to ocean transportation intermediaries, as defined by section 1702 (17)(A) of this Appendix.
(e) Joint ventures
For purposes of this section, a joint venture or consortium of two or more common carriers but operated as a single entity shall be treated as a single common carrier.

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