33 CFR 401.203 - Reports of violations of Seaway regulations and instituting and conducting civil penalty proceedings.
(a) Violations of Seaway Regulations, Subpart A of this part, will be brought to the attention of the alleged violator at the time of detection whenever possible. When appropriate, there will be a written notification of the fact of the violation. This notification will set forth the time and nature of the violation and advise the alleged violator relative to the administrative procedure employed in processing civil penalty cases. The alleged violator will be advised that he or she has 15 days in which to appear before the Associate Administrator or submit a written statement for consideration. The Associate Administrator shall, upon expiration of the 15-day period, determine whether there has been a violation of the Seaway Regulations.
(b) If the Associate Administrator decides that a violation of Seaway Regulations has occurred, a determination will be made as to whether to invoke no penalty at all and close the case or whether to invoke a part or full statutory penalty. In either event, a written notice of the decision shall be given to advise the violator. If a penalty is assessed, such notice will advise the violator of the right to petition for relief within 15 days or such longer period as the Associate Administrator, in his or her discretion, may allow. The Associate Administrator may mitigate the penalty or remit it in full, except as the latter action is limited to paragraph (f) of this section. The violator may appear in person before the Associate Administrator. If the violator does not apply for relief but instead maintains that he or she has not committed the violation(s) charged, and the Associate Administrator, upon review, concludes that invocation of the penalty was proper, no remission or mitigation action will be taken. On the other hand, should the violator petition the Associate Administrator for relief without contesting the determination that violation did, in fact, occur, relief may be granted as the circumstances may warrant.
(c) When the penalty is mitigated, such mitigation will be made conditional upon payment of the balance within 15 days of notice or within such other longer period of time as the Associate Administrator, in his or her discretion, may allow.
(d) The violator may appeal to the Administrator from the action of the Associate Administrator. Any such appeal shall be submitted to the Administrator through the Associate Administrator within 15 days of the date of notification by the Associate Administrator, or such longer period of time as the Associate Administrator, in his or her discretions, may allow.
(e) Should the alleged violator require additional time to present matters favorable to the case at any stage of these penalty proceedings, a request for additional time shall be addressed to the Associate Administrator who will grant a reasonable extension of time where sufficient justification is shown.
(f) Under the following circumstances, the Corporation's Chief Counsel shall forward cases involving violations of the Seaway Regulations to the United States Attorney with the recommendation that action be taken to collect the assessed statutory penalty:
(1) When, within the prescribed time, the violator does not explain the violation, appeal for mitigation or remission, or otherwise respond to written notices from the Associate Administrator; or
(2) When, having responded to such inquiries, the violator fails or refuses to pay the assessed or mitigated penalty, or to appeal to the Administrator, within the time prescribed; or
(3) When the violator denies that the violation(s) was committed by him or her, the Associate Administrator, upon review, disagrees and the violator thereafter fails to appeal to the Administrator, or to remit payment of the assessed penalty within the time prescribed (see paragraph (b) of this section); or
(4) When the violator fails to pay within the prescribed time the penalty as determined by the Administrator after consideration of the violator's appeal from the action of the Associate Administrator.
(g) If a report of boarding or an investigation report submitted by a Corporation employee or investigative body discloses evidence of violation of a Federal criminal statute, the Corporation's Chief Counsel, in accordance with § 401.204, shall refer the findings to the United States Attorney for appropriate action.