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On Friday January 6, 2023, several administrations within the Department of Transportation (DOT), including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Increased civil penalty amounts that are imposed for violations of DOT regulations. PHMSA’s 2023 civil penalty adjustments for noncompliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) are summarized below:

DescriptionExisting PenaltyNew Penalty
Max penalty for hazmat violation$89,678$96,624
Max penalty for hazmat violation resulting in death$209,249$225,455
Minimum penalty for hazmat training violation$540$582
The new penalty amounts became effective immediately. This means any violation you received from January 6, 2023, will be calculated using the new penalty amounts.


Shippers and carriers must keep in mind that penalties are assessed for each violation. Typical hazmat shipments have the potential for multiple violations. For example: A wooden skid has 40 boxes of regulated hazmat. A hazmat employee applied the wrong hazard warning label to 20 of the boxes. Each box with the wrong hazard warning label can be a separate violation. In this example, you could have 20 violations.

Depending on the penalty assigned to those violations, the financial impact could be devastating to a company. Not to mention that if there is an Out of Service violation, the shipment could be delayed, which could cause other issues.

With that said, PHMSA is not in the business of putting people out of business. PHMSA and enforcement officers take many things into consideration when assessing penalties for violations. The penalties are used as a tool to help ensure the HMR are being complied with.


On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law the Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. Federal agencies are required by the Act of 2015 to adjust minimum and maximum civil penalty amounts to account for inflation and to preserve their deterrent impact.