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.