How does FAA oversee compliance of offerors?
The fundamental goal of the FAA's compliance philosophy is to identify problems in the National Airspace (NAS) before they result in an incident or accident and to use the most appropriate tools to fix those problems and to monitor the situation to ensure future compliance.
The new compliance philosophy does not apply to non-certificated offerors (i.e., shippers and freight forwarders); however, the Hazardous Materials Safety Program strives to apply the intent of the compliance philosophy to any party that introduces risk into the NAS.
We have the same incentive to use the most effective means to return the regulated entity (i.e. the offeror) to full compliance and to prevent recurrence. Our goal is to work with you using non-enforcement methods to identify and correct the underlying causes that led to non-compliance, where appropriate.
The course of action that we take depends on many factors, including the risk presented by the material, the severity of the violation, the culpability of the violator, if reckless conduct or a trend of non-compliance was involved, the violators attitude towards compliance, and the facts and specific circumstances surrounding the violation.
In most instances, we will consider in order:
- Informal Action (Counseling)
- Administrative Action (a Warning Notice or Letter of Correction)
- Legal Action (Civil Penalties)
What are the penalties when enforcement is used?
The FAA will continue to use enforcement when needed; however, Civil Penalties are generally reserved for offerors who are unwilling or unable to comply, demonstrate reckless or criminal behavior, intentionally violated the regulations, or their activities resulted in a significant safety risk.
A person who violates a requirement of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), law, may be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $78,376 for each violation, except the maximum civil penalty is $182,877 if the violation results in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property. There is no minimum civil penalty, except for a minimum civil penalty of $471 for violations relating to training. When the violation is a continuing one, each day of the violation constitutes a separate offense.