18 USC § 549
Removing goods from customs custody; breaking seals
October 30, 2020

Whoever, without authority, affixes or attaches a customs seal, fastening, or mark, or any seal, fastening, or mark purporting to be a customs seal, fastening, or mark to any vessel, vehicle, warehouse, or package; or

Whoever, without authority, willfully removes, breaks, injures, or defaces any customs seal or other fastening or mark placed upon any vessel, vehicle, warehouse, or package containing merchandise or baggage in bond or in customs custody; or

Whoever maliciously enters any bonded warehouse or any vessel or vehicle laden with or containing bonded merchandise with intent unlawfully to remove therefrom any merchandise or baggage therein, or unlawfully removes any merchandise or baggage in such vessel, vehicle, or bonded warehouse or otherwise in customs custody or control; or

Whoever receives or transports any merchandise or baggage unlawfully removed from any such vessel, vehicle, or warehouse, knowing the same to have been unlawfully removed—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 1598 of title 19, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Customs Duties (June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, §598, 46 Stat. 752; June 25, 1938, ch. 679, §26, 52 Stat. 1089).

Reference to persons causing, procuring, aiding or assisting was omitted as unnecessary in view of definition of "principal" in section 2 of this title.

In view of definition of felony in section 1 of this title words "guilty of a felony" were omitted. (See reviser's note under section 550 of this title.)

The punishment prescribed by section 545 of this title was inserted to make this section complete without reference to another section. In doing so it was necessary to rephrase the punishment provision of section 545 of this title, as originally enacted, without change of substance.

Forfeiture provision was omitted to conform with current administrative practice.

Changes were made in phraseology.


2006—Pub. L. 109–177 substituted "10 years" for "two years" in last par.

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

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