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Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd

Federal Court of Australia (criminal division), New South Wales Registry

 

Overview

Image of cargo

In 2016, following an investigation by the ACCC, the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) charged Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) with cartel conduct in contravention of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. This relates to the same cartel for which the first criminal conviction was imposed in 2017 (see NYK).

The charges allege cartel conduct relating to the international shipping of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia between July 2009 and September 2012.

The matter was moved from the Local Court to the Federal Court in November 2017.

On 5 April 2018 K-Line pleaded guilty to cartel conduct.

 

Sentencing

Listing

A sentencing hearing has been listed for 15-16 November before Justice Wigney

 

ACCC Media releases

18 July 2016 (original)

The ACCC released the following press release (MR 212/16) on 15 November 2016:

Criminal charges have been laid against Japanese-based company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) in relation to alleged cartel conduct concerning the international shipping of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia between July 2009 and September 2012.

The matter was before the Downing Centre Local Court for a first mention today, 15 November 2016. 

This is the second matter in which criminal charges have been laid against a corporation under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

K-Line is a global organisation with offices in Europe, Africa, Northeast Asia, South East Asia, Japan, North America, Central America, South America, India, the Middle East, and Oceania (including Australia). It has over 7,000 employees and its headquarters is in Tokyo. It also has an Australian subsidiary, K-Line (Australia) Pty Ltd.

The ACCC’s investigation into other alleged cartel participants is continuing.

Given this is a criminal matter currently before the court; the ACCC will not be providing further comment at this time.

Background

The ACCC investigates cartel conduct, manages the immunity process, takes proceedings in the Federal Court in respect of civil cartel contraventions, and refers serious cartel conduct to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) for consideration for prosecution. The CDPP is responsible for prosecuting criminal cartel offences, in accordance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

5 April 2018 (guilty plea)

The ACCC released the following press release (MR 62/18) on 5 April 2018:

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line), a global shipping company based in Japan, has today entered a guilty plea in the Federal Court to criminal cartel conduct.

K-Line’s plea follows an investigation by the ACCC and charges laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to cartel conduct concerning the international shipping of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia.

This is the second guilty plea in Australia in relation to this cartel. On 18 July 2016, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) pleaded guilty to criminal cartel conduct. On 3 August 2017, NYK was convicted and fined $25 million.

K-Line is a global organisation with offices in Europe, Africa, Northeast Asia, South East Asia, Japan, North America, Central America, South America, India, the Middle East and Oceania (including Australia). It has over 8,000 employees and is headquartered in Tokyo. It also has an Australian subsidiary, K-Line (Australia) Pty Ltd.

The matter will now proceed to sentencing and is next scheduled for a sentencing hearing in the Federal Court on 15 and 16 November 2018.

The ACCC’s investigation into other alleged cartel participants is continuing. 

As this is a criminal matter currently before the Federal Court, the ACCC will not provide any further comment at this time.

 

Media and commentary (external links)

Following guilty plea

Following charges