Penalty Page Top 10 Causes of Violations Understanding Your Hazmat Liability Am I Personally Liable? FAA/DOT Inspections

Hazmat Security
Penalty Guidelines
Penalty Mitigation
Airport Checkpoint

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What is "Penalty Mitigation"?

This is the process that the DOT allows for persons facing a penalty to reduce it through proper remedial training and corrective action.

HazMat (Hazardous Materials / Dangerous Goods) Penalty Mitigation

We can help you if you are facing a hazmat penalty investigation or have received a Notice of Probable Violation or letter of Investigation from the FAA or DOT. It is so important that you take action immediately -- the very same day you get a notice from the authorities saying that they're "looking into" a possible violation. Don't be lulled into complacency because the agent says "oh, we're just putting a few facts together". While the agents are honest, and not trying to deceive anyone, sometimes it's out of their hands and handed over to the government attorneys. Many shippers are surprised after a visit with a Special Agent that they get a notice of Proposed Civil Penalty or a Notice of Probable violation weeks or months later by registered mail.

Call Jim Powell at 1-800-949-4834 to discuss this immediately or email

By how much can the penalty be reduced?

Before the ValuJet incident it was not uncommon to get a $50,000 penalty reduced to $10,000 to $20,000 dollars. Yet that is increasingly unlikely as public and legislative scrutiny focuses on the DOT and their enforcement efforts. If the DOT (especially the FAA) proposes a fine, you can bet that they'll stick pretty close to it unless there are substantial mitigative circumstances presented during the hearings.

What are the DOT "penalty guidelines"?

There are recommended penalties published for certain types of hazmat infractions. However, they are only starting points and are frequently exceeded by the modal agencies like the FAA. To view the most recent penalty guidelines click here or on the side of this page.

Sample Penalty Actions

$100,000 Reuters News Agency (a shipment of ink)

$375,000 Lone Star Aviation (Dallas air carrier, improper shipping of a flammable liquid)

$62,500 Longview Inspection Co. (batteries)

$60,000 LCM Transhield (undeclared shipment)

$82,500 Stark Sales (improper shipment of resin)

$65,000 Kasaba (a Peruvian company)

These are just some of the recently announced proposed penalties from the FAA. You can contact us for a complete list (the entire DOT list is nearly 100 pages). Or view an abbreviated list of penalties recently proposed.

Are you at risk for a penalty?

If you ship any item classified as a hazardous material you are at substantial risk of getting your shipment inspected. "Hazmat" includes consumer items such as paints and other flammables, compressed gasses, cleaning compounds, perfumes, aerosols and hundreds of other items that fall into one of the DOT's nine hazard classes.

The fines range can go as high as $55,000 dollars per violation, per day.

Have you already received notice of a probable violation?

We can assist you, and your legal counsel, in making the proper response, and to take advantage of the DOT's "penalty mitigation" process.

What are the basic steps that the DOT will take in pursuing a hazmat violation?

There are specific steps outlined in 49 CFR that the DOT must take in pursuing a civil penalty against a shipper or carrier. Those steps are:

  1. Notice of Probable Violation
  1. Notice of Proposed Civil Penalty
  1. Final notice of Civil Penalty

During this process and through formal and informal hearings and meetings with the DOT we can help you prepare your response, and address the "mitigation" steps that will ensure the DOT that corrective action is being taken.

In addition, we can review all of the FAA notices and correspondence to ensure that a violation did in fact occur and we can research the rules and the circumstances to present your facts, explanations and actions in the most favorable light possible.

Free Support!

Have a hazmat question? Give us a call, we're glad to help.

Phone (800) 949-4834 or fax your Dangerous Goods Declaration to (800) 527-5121 and we will review it for you.


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Penalty Page Top 10 Causes of Violations Understanding Your Hazmat Liability Am I Personally Liable? FAA/DOT Inspections

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