provides penalties for violating any of the provisions of this chapter or a regulation prescribed under this chapter. For a willful violation the penalty is a criminal fine; all other penalties are civil in nature.
A person violating any of the prohibited acts specified in section
is subject to a maximum civil penalty that can go as high as a $100,000 for a related series of violations. However, the section provides for no liability for good faith reliance on certifications of compliance by others within the chain of responsibility and for defects that are not within an individual’s responsibility or control.
This section also contains an alternate procedure for the collection of a civil penalty of not more than $200 through a U.S. magistrate in lieu of the civil penalty procedures of the Coast Guard. It also directs the district courts of the United States to restrain the sale, offer for sale, introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce, or importation of a recreational vessel or associated equipment that does not conform to applicable safety standards. Finally, compliance with this chapter or standards, regulations, or orders does not relieve a person from liability at common law or under State law.
2006—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 109–241
inserted a space after “4307(a)”.
2004—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 108–293
amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “A person violating section
of this title is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $2,000, except that the maximum civil penalty may be not more than $100,000 for a related series of violations. When a corporation violates section
, any director, officer, or executive employee of the corporation who knowingly and willfully ordered, or knowingly and willfully authorized, a violation is individually liable to the Government for the penalty, in addition to the corporation. However, the director, officer, or executive employee is not liable individually under this subsection if the director, officer, or executive employee can demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that—
“(1) the order or authorization was issued on the basis of a decision, in exercising reasonable and prudent judgment, that the defect or the nonconformity with standards and regulations constituting the violation would not cause or constitute a substantial risk of personal injury to the public; and
“(2) at the time of the order or authorization, the director, officer, or executive employee advised the Secretary in writing of acting under this clause and clause (1) of this subsection.”
1984—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 98–557
, § 8(b), inserted “defect or the” before “nonconformity”.
Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 98–557
, § 8(c), inserted provisions relating to advice by the Secretary or manufacturer of the vessel, equipment or component respecting defects creating substantial risk of personal injury to the public.
“United States magistrate judge” substituted for “United States magistrate” in subsec. (d) pursuant to section 321 ofPub. L. 101–650
, set out as a note under section
, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.