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United States

United States Code Annotated. Title 18. Crimes and Criminal Procedure. Part I. Crimes. Chapter 27. Customs.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: 18 USCA 545

Citation: 18 USC 545

Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   This federal law provides punishment for smuggling merchandise (including animals) into the United States.

Statute in Full:

Whoever knowingly and willfully, with intent to defraud the United States, smuggles, or clandestinely introduces or attempts to smuggle or clandestinely introduce into the United States any merchandise which should have been invoiced, or makes out or passes, or attempts to pass, through the customhouse any false, forged, or fraudulent invoice, or other document or paper; or

Whoever fraudulently or knowingly imports or brings into the United States, any merchandise contrary to law, or receives, conceals, buys, sells, or in any manner facilitates the transportation, concealment, or sale of such merchandise after importation, knowing the same to have been imported or brought into the United States contrary to law--

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Proof of defendant's possession of such goods, unless explained to the satisfaction of the jury, shall be deemed evidence sufficient to authorize conviction for violation of this section.

Merchandise introduced into the United States in violation of this section, or the value thereof, to be recovered from any person described in the first or second paragraph of this section, shall be forfeited to the United States.

The term “United States”, as used in this section, shall not include the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Wake Island, Midway Islands, Kingman Reef, Johnston Island, or Guam.


(June 25, 1948, c. 645, 62 Stat. 716; Aug. 24, 1954, c. 890, § 1, 68 Stat. 782; Sept. 1, 1954, c. 1213, Title V, § 507, 68 Stat. 1141; June 30, 1955, c. 258, § 2(c), 69 Stat. 242; Sept. 13, 1994, Pub.L. 103-322, Title XXXII, § 320903(c), Title XXXIII, §§ 330004(18), 330016(1)(L), 108 Stat. 2125, 2142, 2147; Oct. 11, 1996, Pub.L. 104-294, Title VI, § 604(b)(23), 110 Stat. 3508; Mar. 9, 2006, Pub.L. 109-177, Title III, § 310, 120 Stat. 242.)


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