To support domestic plant health in fiscal year (FY) 2017, APHIS initiated 66 cases and issued 20 pre-litigation settlement agreements, resulting in the collection of $67,762 in stipulated penalties. Of note were an IES investigation into the alleged prohibited importation of Hass avocados into Puerto Rico by a company that settled for a civil penalty of $17,500; as well as an IES investigation for an alleged wood packaging materials violation involving a company that produced and used a fraudulent International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM15) stamp to mark several wooden crates, resulting in a settlement for a civil penalty of $12,500. Additionally, IES Investigators working with the USDA Office of the General Counsel obtained a Decision and Order resulting in a civil penalty of $130,000 to a company for the improper movement of imported fire ants; and a Default Decision resulting in a civil penalty of $12,500 to an individual for attempting to bring wood across the United States / Mexico border without proper permits.
|Totals||FY 2015||FY 2016||FY 2017
|Stipulated Penalties Assessed||$107,375||$101,926||$67,762|
|Referrals to OGC||5 (alleged violators)
|8 (alleged violators)
|1 (alleged violator)
|Civil Penalties Assessed||$40,750||$30,625||$142,500|