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    18 USC Sec. 542                                             01/05/2009




    Sec. 542. Entry of goods by means of false statements


      Whoever enters or introduces, or attempts to enter or introduce,
    into the commerce of the United States any imported merchandise by
    means of any fraudulent or false invoice, declaration, affidavit,
    letter, paper, or by means of any false statement, written or
    verbal, or by means of any false or fraudulent practice or
    appliance, or makes any false statement in any declaration without
    reasonable cause to believe the truth of such statement, or
    procures the making of any such false statement as to any matter
    material thereto without reasonable cause to believe the truth of
    such statement, whether or not the United States shall or may be
    deprived of any lawful duties; or
      Whoever is guilty of any willful act or omission whereby the
    United States shall or may be deprived of any lawful duties
    accruing upon merchandise embraced or referred to in such invoice,
    declaration, affidavit, letter, paper, or statement, or affected by
    such act or omission -
      Shall be fined for each offense under this title or imprisoned
    not more than two years, or both.
      Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve imported
    merchandise from forfeiture under other provisions of law.
      The term "commerce of the United States", as used in this
    section, shall not include commerce with the Virgin Islands,
    American Samoa, Wake Island, Midway Islands, Kingman Reef, Johnston
    Island, or Guam.


    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 715; June 30, 1955, ch. 258, Sec.
    2(c), 69 Stat. 242; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Secs.
    330004(18), 330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2142, 2147;
    Pub. L. 104-294, title VI, Sec. 604(b)(23), Oct. 11, 1996, 110
    Stat. 3508.)


      Based on section 1591 of title 19, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Customs
    Duties (June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, Sec. 591, 46 Stat. 750;
    Aug. 5, 1935, ch. 438, title III, Sec. 304(a), 49 Stat. 527).
      The reference in the first paragraph to persons aiding, contained
    in the phrase "or aids," was omitted as unnecessary as such persons
    are made principals by section 2 of this title.
      Words "upon conviction" before "be fined" were omitted as
    surplusage since punishment cannot be imposed until conviction is
      Enumeration of persons at beginning of section and provision
    preserving forfeitures where authorized by law were omitted as
      The fourth paragraph was added to the revised section to make
    clear the intent of Congress that forfeiture is an additional
    consequence independent of the criminal punishment.
      The final paragraph was added to conform with section 1709 of
    title 19, U.S.C., 1940 ed.
      Changes in phraseology were also made.
      1996 - Pub. L. 104-294 amended Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330004(18).
    See 1994 Amendment note below.
      1994 - Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(K), substituted "fined
    under this title" for "fined not more than $5,000" in third par.
      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330004(18), as amended by Pub. L. 104-294,
    Sec. 604(b)(23), struck out "Philippine Islands," before "Virgin
    Islands" in last par.
      1955 - Act June 30, 1955, inserted reference to Johnston Island
    in last par.
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1996 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by Pub. L. 104-294 effective Sept. 13, 1994, see
    section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104-294, set out as a note under section
    13 of this title.
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1955 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by act June 30, 1955, effective July 1, 1955, see
    section 2(d) of act June 30, 1955, set out as a note under section
    1401 of Title 19, Customs Duties.
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