It’s important to understand why freight forwarders take certain steps prior to shipping your goods. We previously discussed why it’s important to complete a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction. Now we are addressing why your Freight Forwarder segregates your hazardous materials, even if you request otherwise. The fines for non-compliance are severe. 49 CFR 107.329 provides for the maximum civil penalty amounts. Violators that knowingly violate hazardous material transportation laws and regulations may face no more than a $78,376.00 penalty for each violation, but if the violation results in death, serious illness, severe injury to any person, or substantial destruction of property the maximum civil penalty is $182,877.00. 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. […]
If your company ships hazardous materials (a/k/a "HAZMAT"), a single misstep could cause your business to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties. If you think "well, I made only one mistake--I won't get caught," or if you think you can talk yourself out of getting a penalty like you do a speeding ticket, think again. When the FAA investigates an incident and issues a penalty, you can bet what you think is just one violation will quickly become multiple violations.