(a) Criminal penalties

Any person who violates any of the provisions of section 1263 of this title shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall on conviction thereof be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment for not more than ninety days, or both; but for offenses committed with intent to defraud or mislead, or for second and subsequent offenses, the penalty shall be imprisonment for not more than 5 years, a fine determined under section 3571 of title 18, or both.

(b) Exceptions

Terms Used In 15 USC 1264

  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See
  • State: means --

    (A) a State. See

No person shall be subject to the penalties of subsection (a) of this section, (1) for having violated section 1263(c) of this title, if the receipt, delivery, or proffered delivery of the hazardous substance was made in good faith, unless he refuses to furnish on request of an officer or employee duly designated by the Commission, the name and address of the person from whom he purchased or received such hazardous substance, and copies of all documents, if any there be, pertaining to the delivery of the hazardous substance to him; or (2) for having violated section 1263(a) of this title, if he established a guarantee or undertaking signed by, and containing the name and address of, the person residing in the United States from whom he received in good faith the hazardous substance, to the effect that the hazardous substance is not a misbranded hazardous substance or a banned hazardous substance within the meaning of those terms in this chapter; or (3) for having violated subsection (a) or (c) of section 1263 of this title with respect to any hazardous substance shipped or delivered for shipment for export to any foreign country, in a package marked for export on the outside of the shipping container and labeled in accordance with the specifications of the foreign purchaser and in accordance with the laws of the foreign country, but if such hazardous substance is sold or offered for sale in domestic commerce or if the Commission determines that exportation of such substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to persons residing within the United States, this clause shall not apply.

(c) Civil penalties

(1) Any person who knowingly violates section 1263 of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $100,000 for each such violation. Subject to paragraph (2), a violation of subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), (f), (g), (i), (j), and (k) of section 1263 of this title shall constitute a separate offense with respect to each substance involved, except that the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed $15,000,000 for any related series of violations. A violation of section 1263(e) of this title shall constitute a separate violation with respect to each failure or refusal to allow or perform an act required by section 1263(e) of this title; and, if such violation is a continuing one, each day of such violation shall constitute a separate offense, except that the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed $15,000,000 for any related series of violations.

(2) The second sentence of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to violations of subsection (a) or (c) of section 1263 of this title–

(A) if the person who violated such subsection is not the manufacturer, importer, or private labeler or a distributor of the substances involved; and

(B) if such person did not have either (i) actual knowledge that such person’s distribution or sale of the substance violated such subsection, or (ii) notice from the Commission that such distribution or sale would be a violation of such subsection.


(3) In determining the amount of any penalty to be sought upon commencing an action seeking to assess a penalty for a violation of section 1263 of this title, the Commission shall consider the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation, including the nature of the substance, the severity of the risk of injury, the occurrence or absence of injury, the amount of the substance distributed, the appropriateness of such penalty in relation to the size of the business of the person charged, including how to mitigate undue adverse economic impacts on small businesses, and such other factors as appropriate.

(4) Any civil penalty under this subsection may be compromised by the Commission. In determining the amount of such penalty or whether it should be remitted or mitigated, and in what amount, the Commission shall consider the appropriateness of such penalty to the size of the business of the persons charged, including how to mitigate undue adverse economic impacts on small businesses, the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation, including,1 the nature of the substance involved, the severity of the risk of injury, the occurrence or absence of injury, and the amount of the substance distributed, and such other factors as appropriate. The amount of such penalty when finally determined, or the amount agreed on compromise, may be deducted from any sums owing by the United States to the person charged.

(5) As used in the first sentence of paragraph (1), the term “knowingly” means (A) having actual knowledge, or (B) the presumed having of knowledge deemed to be possessed by a reasonable person who acts in the circumstances, including knowledge obtainable upon the exercise of due care to ascertain the truth of representations.

(6)(A) The maximum penalty amounts authorized in paragraph (1) shall be adjusted for inflation as provided in this paragraph.

(B) Not later than December 1, 2011, and December 1 of each fifth calendar year thereafter, the Commission shall prescribe and publish in the Federal Register a schedule of maximum authorized penalties that shall apply for violations that occur after January 1 of the year immediately following such publication.

(C) The schedule of maximum authorized penalties shall be prescribed by increasing each of the amounts referred to in paragraph (1) by the cost-of-living adjustment for the preceding five years. Any increase determined under the preceding sentence shall be rounded to–

(i) in the case of penalties greater than $1,000 but less than or equal to $10,000, the nearest multiple of $1,000;

(ii) in the case of penalties greater than $10,000 but less than or equal to $100,000, the nearest multiple of $5,000;

(iii) in the case of penalties greater than $100,000 but less than or equal to $200,000, the nearest multiple of $10,000; and

(iv) in the case of penalties greater than $200,000, the nearest multiple of $25,000.


(D) For purposes of this subsection:

(i) The term “Consumer Price Index” means the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers published by the Department of Labor.

(ii) The term “cost-of-living adjustment for the preceding five years” means the percentage by which–

(I) the Consumer Price Index for the month of June of the calendar year preceding the adjustment; exceeds

(II) the Consumer Price Index for the month of June preceding the date on which the maximum authorized penalty was last adjusted.

(d) Civil action for injunction

In the case of an attorney general of a State alleging a violation that affects or may affect such State or its residents, such attorney general may bring a civil action for an injunction to enforce any requirement of this chapter relating to misbranded or banned hazardous substances. The procedural requirements of section 2073 of this title shall apply to any such action.