TITLE 33 - NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
CHAPTER 25 - PORTS AND WATERWAYS SAFETY PROGRAM
Sec. 1232. Enforcement provisions
(a) Civil penalty
(1) Any person who is found by the Secretary, after notice and an
opportunity for a hearing, to have violated this chapter or a
regulation issued hereunder shall be liable to the United States
for a civil penalty, not to exceed $25,000 for each violation. Each
day of a continuing violation shall constitute a separate
violation. The amount of such civil penalty shall be assessed by
the Secretary, or his designee, by written notice. In determining
the amount of such penalty, the Secretary shall take into account
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
such other matters as justice may require.
(2) The Secretary may compromise, modify, or remit, with or
without conditions, any civil penalty which is subject to
imposition or which has been imposed under this section.
(3) If any 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 of the United States, for collection in any
appropriate district court of the United States.
(b) Criminal penalty
(1) Any person who willfully and knowingly violates this chapter
or any regulation issued hereunder commits a class D felony.
(2) Any person who, in the willfull (!1) and knowing violation of
this chapter or of any regulation issued hereunder, uses a
dangerous weapon, or engages in conduct that causes bodily injury
or fear of imminent bodily injury to any officer authorized to
enforce the provisions of this chapter or the regulations issued
hereunder, commits a class C felony.
(c) In rem liability
Any vessel subject to the provisions of this chapter, which is
used in violation of this chapter, or any regulations issued
hereunder, shall be liable in rem for any civil penalty assessed
pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and may be proceeded
against in the United States district court for any district in
which such vessel may be found.
The United States district courts shall have jurisdiction to
restrain violations of this chapter or of regulations issued
hereunder, for cause shown.
(e) Denial of entry
Except as provided in section 1228 of this title, the Secretary
may, subject to recognized principles of international law, deny
entry into the navigable waters of the United States to any port or
place under the jurisdiction of the United States or to any vessel
not in compliance with the provisions of this chapter or the
regulations issued hereunder.
(f) Withholding of clearance
(1) If any owner, operator, or individual in charge of a vessel
is liable for a penalty or fine under this section, or if
reasonable cause exists to believe that the owner, operator, or
individual in charge may be subject to a penalty or fine under this
section, the Secretary of the Treasury, upon the request of the
Secretary, shall with respect to such vessel refuse or revoke any
clearance required by section 60105 of title 46.
(2) Clearance refused or revoked under this subsection may be
granted upon filing of a bond or other surety satisfactory to the
(Pub. L. 92-340, Sec. 13, as added Pub. L. 95-474, Sec. 2, Oct. 17,
1978, 92 Stat. 1478; amended Pub. L. 101-380, title IV, Sec.
4302(j), Aug. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 539; Pub. L. 104-324, title III,
Sec. 312(b), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3920.)
In subsec. (f)(1), "section 60105 of title 46" substituted for
"section 4197 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (46 App.
U.S.C. 91)" on authority of Pub. L. 109-304, Sec. 18(c), Oct. 6,
2006, 120 Stat. 1709, which Act enacted section 60105 of Title 46,
1996 - Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 104-324 amended heading and text of
subsec. (f) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows:
"The Secretary of the Treasury shall withhold or revoke, at the
request of the Secretary, the clearance, required by section 91 of
title 46, Appendix, of any vessel, the owner or operator of which
is subject to any of the penalties in this section. Clearance may
be granted in such cases upon the filing of a bond or other surety
satisfactory to the Secretary."
1990 - Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 101-380, Sec. 4302(j)(1),
substituted "commits a class D felony" for "shall be fined not more
than $50,000 for each violation or imprisoned for not more than
five years, or both".
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 101-380, Sec. 4302(j)(2), which directed
the substitution of "commits a class C felony." for "shall, in lieu
of the penalties prescribed in paragraph (1), be fined not more
than $100,000, or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.",
was executed by making the substitution for "shall, in lieu of the
penalties prescribed in paragraph (1), be fined not more than
$100,000, or imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both."
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1990 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 101-380 applicable to incidents occurring
after Aug. 18, 1990, see section 1020 of Pub. L. 101-380, set out
as an Effective Date note under section 2701 of this title.
(!1) So in original. Probably should be "willful".
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