TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 27 - CUSTOMS
Sec. 545. Smuggling goods into the United States
Whoever knowingly and willfully, with intent to defraud the
United States, smuggles, or clandestinely introduces or attempts to
smuggle or clandestinely introduce into the United States any
merchandise which should have been invoiced, or makes out or
passes, or attempts to pass, through the customhouse any false,
forged, or fraudulent invoice, or other document or paper; or
Whoever fraudulently or knowingly imports or brings into the
United States, any merchandise contrary to law, or receives,
conceals, buys, sells, or in any manner facilitates the
transportation, concealment, or sale of such merchandise after
importation, knowing the same to have been imported or brought into
the United States contrary to law -
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20
years, or both.
Proof of defendant's possession of such goods, unless explained
to the satisfaction of the jury, shall be deemed evidence
sufficient to authorize conviction for violation of this section.
Merchandise introduced into the United States in violation of
this section, or the value thereof, to be recovered from any person
described in the first or second paragraph of this section, shall
be forfeited to the United States.
The term "United States", as used in this section, shall not
include the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Wake Island, Midway
Islands, Kingman Reef, Johnston Island, or Guam.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 716; Aug. 24, 1954, ch. 890, Sec.
1, 68 Stat. 782; Sept. 1, 1954, ch. 1213, title V, Sec. 507, 68
Stat. 1141; June 30, 1955, ch. 258, Sec. 2(c), 69 Stat. 242; Pub.
L. 103-322, title XXXII, Sec. 320903(c), title XXXIII, Secs.
330004(18), 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2125, 2142,
2147; Pub. L. 104-294, title VI, Sec. 604(b)(23), Oct. 11, 1996,
110 Stat. 3508; Pub. L. 109-177, title III, Sec. 310, Mar. 9, 2006,
120 Stat. 242.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Based on section 1593 of title 19, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Customs
Duties (June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, Sec. 593, 46 Stat. 751).
Reference in first paragraph to aiders, contained in words "his,
her, or their aiders and abettors" was omitted as unnecessary since
such persons are made principals by section 2 of this title. For
the same reason words "or assists in so doing" in second paragraph
Words "shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor," in first
paragraph were omitted in view of definition of misdemeanor in
section 1 of this title.
Conviction provision in first paragraph reading "and on
conviction thereof" was deleted as surplusage since punishment
cannot be imposed until a conviction is secured.
Minimum punishment provision "nor less than $50" in second
paragraph was deleted.
Forfeiture provision was rephrased to make it clear that
forfeiture was not dependent upon conviction.
The final paragraph was added to conform with section 1709 of
title 19, U.S.C., 1940 ed.
Changes were made in phraseology.
2006 - Pub. L. 109-177, which directed amendment of third par. by
substituting "20 years" for "5 years", was executed by making the
substitution for "five years", to reflect the probable intent of
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)(L), substituted "fined
under this title" for "fined not more than $10,000" 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.
Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320903(c), inserted "or attempts to smuggle
or clandestinely introduce" after "clandestinely introduces" in
1955 - Act June 30, 1955, inserted reference to Johnston Island.
1954 - Act Sept. 1, 1954, permitted forfeiture of value of
merchandise imported in violation of section.
Act Aug. 24, 1954, increased fine from $5,000 to $10,000 and
imprisonment from two years to five years.
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.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1954 AMENDMENT
Section 2 of act Aug. 24, 1954, provided that: "The amendments
made by the first section of this Act [amending this section] shall
apply only with respect to offenses committed on and after the date
of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 24, 1954]."
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