7 U.S. Code § 8313. Penalties

(a) Criminal penalties
(1) Offenses
(A) In general

A person that knowingly violates this chapter, or knowingly forges, counterfeits, or, without authority from the Secretary, uses, alters, defaces, or destroys any certificate, permit, or other document provided for in this chapter shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(B) Distribution or sale

A person that knowingly imports, enters, exports, or moves any animal or article, for distribution or sale, in violation of this chapter, shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(2) Multiple violations

On the second and any subsequent conviction of a person of a violation of this chapter under paragraph (1), the person shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

(b) Civil penalties
(1) In generalExcept as provided in section 8309(d) of this title, any person that violates this chapter, or that forges, counterfeits, or, without authority from the Secretary, uses, alters, defaces, or destroys any certificate, permit, or other document provided under this chapter may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing on the record, be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary that does not exceed the greater of—
(A)
(i)
$50,000 in the case of any individual, except that the civil penalty may not exceed $1,000 in the case of an initial violation of this chapter by an individual moving regulated articles not for monetary gain;
(ii)
$250,000 in the case of any other person for each violation; and
(iii) for all violations adjudicated in a single proceeding—
(I)
$500,000 if the violations do not include a willful violation; or
(II)
$1,000,000 if the violations include 1 or more willful violations.
(B)
twice the gross gain or gross loss for any violation or forgery, counterfeiting, or unauthorized use, alteration, defacing or destruction of a certificate, permit, or other document provided under this chapter that results in the person’s deriving pecuniary gain or causing pecuniary loss to another person.
(2) Factors in determining civil penaltyIn determining the amount of a civil penalty, the Secretary shall take into account the nature, circumstance, extent, and gravity of the violation or violations and the Secretary may consider, with respect to the violator—
(A)
the ability to pay;
(B)
the effect on ability to continue to do business;
(C)
any history of prior violations;
(D)
the degree of culpability; and
(E)
such other factors as the Secretary considers to be appropriate.
(3) Settlement of civil penalties

The Secretary may compromise, modify, or remit, with or without conditions, any civil penalty that may be assessed under this subsection.

(4) Finality of orders
(A) Final order

The order of the Secretary assessing a civil penalty shall be treated as a final order reviewable under chapter 158 of title 28.

(B) Review

The validity of the order of the Secretary may not be reviewed in an action to collect the civil penalty.

(C) Interest

Any civil penalty not paid in full when due under an order assessing the civil penalty shall thereafter accrue interest until paid at the rate of interest applicable to civil judgments of the courts of the United States.

(c) Liability for acts of agents

In the construction and enforcement of this chapter, the act, omission, or failure of any officer, agent, or person acting for or employed by any other person within the scope of the employment or office of the officer, agent, or person, shall be deemed also to be the act, omission, or failure of the other person.

(d) Guidelines for civil penalties

Subject to the approval of the Attorney General, the Secretary shall establish guidelines to determine under what circumstances the Secretary may issue a civil penalty or suitable notice of warning in lieu of prosecution by the Attorney General of a violation of this chapter.

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this subtitle”, meaning subtitle E (§§ 10401–10418) of title X of Pub. L. 107–171, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 494, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of subtitle E to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 8301 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (b)(1)(A)(iii). Pub. L. 110–246, § 11012(a), added cl. (iii) and struck out former cl. (iii) which read as follows: “$500,000 for all violations adjudicated in a single proceeding; or”.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of the Secretary of Agriculture relating to agricultural import and entry inspection activities under this chapter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 231, 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.