(a) Individuals arriving other than by conveyance
Except as otherwise authorized by the Secretary, individuals arriving in the United States other than by vessel, vehicle, or aircraft shall—
(1) enter the United States only at a border crossing point designated by the Secretary; and
(A) report the arrival, and
(B) present themselves, and all articles accompanying them for inspection;
to the customs officer at the customs facility designated for that crossing point.
(b) Individuals arriving by reported conveyance
Except as otherwise authorized by the Secretary, passengers and crew members aboard a conveyance the arrival in the United States of which was made or reported in accordance with section 1433 or 1644 of this title or section 1644a(b)(1) or (c)(1) of this title, or in accordance with applicable regulations, shall remain aboard the conveyance until authorized to depart the conveyance by the appropriate customs officer. Upon departing the conveyance, the passengers and crew members shall immediately report to the designated customs facility with all articles accompanying them.
(c) Individuals arriving by unreported conveyance
Except as otherwise authorized by the Secretary, individuals aboard a conveyance the arrival in the United States of which was not made or reported in accordance with the laws or regulations referred to in subsection (b) of this section shall immediately notify a customs officer and report their arrival, together with appropriate information concerning the conveyance on or in which they arrived, and present their property for customs examination and inspection.
(d) Departure from designated customs facilities
Except as otherwise authorized by the Secretary, any person required to report to a designated customs facility under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section may not depart that facility until authorized to do so by the appropriate customs officer.
(e) Unlawful acts
It is unlawful—
(1) to fail to comply with subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section;
(2) to present any forged, altered, or false document or paper to a customs officer under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section without revealing the facts;
(3) to violate subsection (d) of this section; or
(4) to fail to comply with, or violate, any regulation prescribed to carry out subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) of this section.
(f) Civil penalty
Any individual who violates any provision of subsection (e) of this section is liable for a civil penalty of $5,000 for the first violation, and $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
(g) Criminal penalty
In addition to being liable for a civil penalty under subsection (f) of this section, any individual who intentionally violates any provision of subsection (e) of this section is, upon conviction, liable for a fine of not more than $5,000, or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.
In subsec. (b), "section 1644a(b)(1) or (c)(1) of this title" substituted for "section 1109 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958" on authority of Pub. L. 103–272, §6(b), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1378, the first section of which enacted subtitles II, III, and V to X of Title 49, Transportation.
Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, §459, 42 Stat. 956. That section was superseded by section 459 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.
R.S. §3109, as amended by act Feb. 17, 1898, ch. 26, §4, 30 Stat. 248, was omitted from the Code as superseded by this section. It read as follows: "The master of any foreign vessel, laden or in ballast, arriving, whether by sea or otherwise, in the waters of the United States from any foreign territory adjacent to the northern, northeastern, or northwestern frontiers of the United States, shall report at the office of any collector or deputy collector of the customs, which shall be nearest to the point at which such vessel may enter such waters; and such vessel shall not transfer her cargo or passengers to another vessel or proceed farther inland, either to unlade or take in cargo, without a special permit from such collector or deputy collector, issued under and in accordance with such general or special regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, from time to time prescribe. This section shall also apply to trade with or through Alaska. For any violation of this section such vessel shall be seized and forfeited."
Provisions concerning the manner of importation, landing and unlading except in districts on the northern, northwestern and western boundaries, were contained in R.S. §3095, as amended by act April 27, 1904, ch. 1625, §1, 33 Stat. 362.
Additional provisions concerning importations on the northern and northwestern boundaries, reports, manifests, entries, etc., were contained in R.S. §§3096 and 3097.
Provisions for the delivery of a manifest by the master of vessels, except registered vessels, and the person in charge of boats, vehicles, etc., coming from any foreign territory adjacent to the United States, were contained in R.S. §3098.
R.S. §3121, provided that the master of any vessel with cargo, passengers, or baggage from any foreign port, should obtain a permit and comply with existing laws before discharging or landing the same.
R.S. §3128, made special provision for landing of merchandise imported by steamboat on Lake Champlain.
All of the foregoing sections of the Revised Statutes (3095–3098, 3109, 3121 and 3128) with the exception of R.S. §3109, were repealed by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, §642, 42 Stat. 989.
1986—Pub. L. 99–570 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows: "The master of any vessel of less than five net tons carrying merchandise and the person in charge of any vehicle arriving in the United States from contiguous country, shall immediately report his arrival to the customs officer at the port of entry or customhouse which shall be nearest to the place at which such vessel or vehicle shall cross the boundary line or shall enter the territorial waters of the United States, and if such vessel or vehicle have on board any merchandise, shall produce to such customs officer a manifest as required by law, and no such vessel or vehicle shall proceed farther inland nor shall discharge or land any merchandise, passengers, or baggage without receiving a permit therefor from such customs officer. Any person importing or bringing merchandise into the United States from a contiguous country otherwise than in a vessel or vehicle shall immediately report his arrival to the customs officer at the port of entry or customhouse which shall be nearest to the place at which he shall cross the boundary line and shall present such merchandise to such customs officer for inspection."
1938—Act June 25, 1938, substituted provisions requiring any person importing merchandise from a contiguous country otherwise than in a vessel to report his arrival at the nearest customshouse and present such merchandise for inspection for provisions setting penalties of $100 for for the failure of the master of any vessel to report its arrival in the United States, forfeiture of vessel and goods for unlading without a permit, and $500 for the unlading of any passenger without a permit.
Effective Date of 1938 Amendment
Amendment by act June 25, 1938, effective on thirtieth day following June 25, 1938, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 37 of act June 25, 1938, set out as a note under section 1401 of this title.