Title 46 Sec. 2103. Superintendence of the merchant marine
The Secretary has general superintendence over the merchant marine of the United States and of merchant marine personnel insofar as the enforcement of this subtitle is concerned and insofar as those vessels and personnel are not subject, under other law, to the supervision of another official of the United States Government. In the interests of marine safety and seamen's welfare, the Secretary shall enforce this subtitle and shall carry out correctly and uniformly administer this subtitle. The Secretary may prescribe regulations to carry out the provisions of this subtitle.
Title 46 Sec. 2107. Civil penalty procedures
(a) After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, a person found by the Secretary to have violated this subtitle or a regulation prescribed under this subtitle for which a civil penalty is provided, is liable to the United States Government for the civil penalty provided. The amount of the civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary by written notice. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Secretary shall consider the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited acts committed and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other matters that justice requires. (b) The Secretary may compromise, modify, or remit, with or without consideration, a civil penalty under this subtitle until the assessment is referred to the Attorney General. (c) If a person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty after it has become final, the Secretary may refer the matter to the Attorney General for collection in an appropriate district court of the United States.