(a)Civil penalties. Any aircraft pilot who transports, or any person on board any aircraft who possesses prohibited or restricted merchandise knowing, or intending, that the merchandise will be introduced into the U.S. contrary to law shall be subject to a civil penalty of twice the value of the merchandise involved, but not less than $10,000, as prescribed in section 590, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1590). Any aircraft used in connection with, or in aiding or facilitating, any violation of 19 U.S.C. 1590, whether or not any person is charged in connection with such violation, may be seized and forfeited in accordance with Customs laws.
(b)Criminal penalties. Any aircraft pilot or person who intentionally violates 19 U.S.C. 1590 is, upon conviction, subject to the criminal penalties of a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both, if none of the merchandise involved is a controlled substance. More severe penalties are provided in 19 U.S.C. 1590 if the smuggled merchandise is a controlled substance. In such case, a violator is liable for a fine of not more than $250,000 or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both.
(c) For purposes of imposing civil penalties under this section, any of the following acts, when performed within 250 miles of the territorial sea of the United States, shall be evidence that the transportation or possession of merchandise was unlawful and shall indicate that the purpose of the transfer was to make it possible for such merchandise, or any part of it, to be introduced into the U.S. unlawfully. For purposes of seizure and forfeiture, the following acts shall be evidence that an aircraft was used in connection with, or to aid or facilitate, a violation of this section;
(1) The operation of an aircraft without lights during such times as lights are required to be displayed under applicable law.
(2) The presence on an aircraft of an auxiliary fuel tank which is not installed in accordance with applicable law.
(3) The failure to correctly identify the aircraft by registration number and country of registration, when requested to do so by a customs officer or other government authority.
(4) The external display of false registration numbers or false country of registration.
(5) The presence on board of unmanifested merchandise, the importation of which is prohibited or restricted.
(6) The presence on board of controlled substances which are not manifested or which are not accompanied by the permits or licenses required under Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs or other international treaty.
(7) The presence of any compartment or equipment which is built or fitted out for smuggling.
Title 19 published on 2014-04-01
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