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46 U.S. Code § 2107 - Civil penalty procedures

After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, a person found by the Secretary to have violated this subtitle or subtitle VII or a regulation prescribed under this subtitle or subtitle VII for which a civil penalty is provided, is liable to the United States Government for the civil penalty provided. The amount of the civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary by written notice. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Secretary shall consider the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited acts committed and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other matters that justice requires.
The Secretary may compromise, modify, or remit, with or without consideration, a civil penalty under this subtitle or subtitle VII until the assessment is referred to the Attorney General.
If a person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty after it has become final, the Secretary may refer the matter to the Attorney General for collection in an appropriate district court of the United States.

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised section

Source section (U.S. Code)










Section 2107 provides for standard procedures for the handling of civil penalties for infractions of law or regulation. Some changes were made to increase some antiquated and inadequate penalties.

The assessment of civil penalties under this section should not require an “on the record” hearing within the meaning of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). It is intended that these civil penalties be assessed in a fair manner. However, the Committee recognizes that statutes passed in the last decade have involved the Coast Guard in tens of thousands of civil penalty enforcement cases and that it is necessary that the penalties be assessed efficiently. The Coast Guard’s procedural regulations for assessing civil penalties ensure that the essential elements of due process, notice, and opportunity to be heard, are provided to alleged violators (see 33 CFR Subpart 1.07). The more rigid and time-consuming procedures applicable to APA adjudications are unwarranted in the case of Coast Guard civil penalty assessment procedures and would seriously hamper the orderly enforcement of these administrative penalties.

Editorial Notes

2006—Pub. L. 109–241 substituted “this subtitle or subtitle VII” for “this subtitle” in two places in subsec. (a) and in one place in subsec. (b).