18 USC § 546
Smuggling goods into foreign countries
October 30, 2020

Any person owning in whole or in part any vessel of the United States who employs, or participates in, or allows the employment of, such vessel for the purpose of smuggling, or attempting to smuggle, or assisting in smuggling, any merchandise into the territory of any foreign government in violation of the laws there in force, if under the laws of such foreign government any penalty or forfeiture is provided for violation of the laws of the United States respecting the customs revenue, and any citizen of, or person domiciled in, or any corporation incorporated in, the United States, controlling or substantially participating in the control of any such vessel, directly or indirectly, whether through ownership of corporate shares or otherwise, and allowing the employment of said vessel for any such purpose, and any person found, or discovered to have been, on board of any such vessel so employed and participating or assisting in any such purpose, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

It shall constitute an offense under this section to hire out or charter a vessel if the lessor or charterer has knowledge or reasonable grounds for belief that the lessee or person chartering the vessel intends to employ such vessel for any of the purposes described in this section and if such vessel is, during the time such lease or charter is in effect, employed for any such purpose.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 1702 of title 19, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Customs Duties (Aug. 5, 1935, ch. 438, title I, §2, 49 Stat. 518).

Changes were made in phraseology.

References in Text

The laws of the United States respecting the customs revenue, referred to in text, are classified generally to Title 19, Customs Duties.


1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted "fined under this title" for "fined not more than $5,000" in first par.

Tried the LawStack mobile app?

Join thousands and try LawStack mobile for FREE today.

  • Carry the law offline, wherever you go.
  • Download CFR, USC, rules, and state law to your mobile device.