19 USC § 1461
Inspection of merchandise and baggage 1
through Pub. L. 116-282, except Pub. L. 116-260

All merchandise and baggage imported or brought in from any contiguous country, except as otherwise provided by law or by regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall be unladen in the presence of and be inspected by a customs officer at the first port of entry at which the same shall arrive; and such officer may require the owner, or his agent, or other person having charge or possession of any trunk, traveling bag, sack, valise, or other container, or of any closed vehicle, to open the same for inspection, or to furnish a key or other means for opening the same.


As enacted by act June 17, 1930, the catchline for this section was "Same—inspection", as this section was intended to be read as a continuation of the provisions introduced in section 1459 of this title. When first enacted, section 1459 of this title related to arrival in the United States from a contiguous country but has since been amended by Pub. L. 99–570 to relate to arrival more generally.

Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in R.S. §3100, as amended by act Feb. 18, 1875, ch. 80, §1, 18 Stat. 319, and act Feb. 27, 1877, ch. 69, §1, 19 Stat. 248, which was superseded by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, §461, 42 Stat. 956, and was repealed by section 642 thereof. Section 461 of the 1922 act was superseded by section 461 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.

1 See Codification note below.

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.