18 U.S. Code § 176 - Seizure, forfeiture, and destruction

(a) In General.—
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Attorney General may request the issuance, in the same manner as provided for a search warrant, of a warrant authorizing the seizure of any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system that—
(A) pertains to conduct prohibited under section 175 of this title; or
(B) is of a type or in a quantity that under the circumstances has no apparent justification for prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes.
(2) In exigent circumstances, seizure and destruction of any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) may be made upon probable cause without the necessity for a warrant.
(b) Procedure.— Property seized pursuant to subsection (a) shall be forfeited to the United States after notice to potential claimants and an opportunity for a hearing. At such hearing, the Government shall bear the burden of persuasion by a preponderance of the evidence. Except as inconsistent herewith, the same procedures and provisions of law relating to a forfeiture under the customs laws shall extend to a seizure or forfeiture under this section. The Attorney General may provide for the destruction or other appropriate disposition of any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system seized and forfeited pursuant to this section.
(c) Affirmative Defense.— It is an affirmative defense against a forfeiture under subsection (a)(1)(B) of this section that—
(1) such biological agent, toxin, or delivery system is for a prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purpose; and
(2) such biological agent, toxin, or delivery system, is of a type and quantity reasonable for that purpose.


(Added Pub. L. 101–298, § 3(a),May 22, 1990, 104 Stat. 202; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330010(16),Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2144; Pub. L. 107–188, title II, § 231(c)(3),June 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 661.)

2002—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 107–188substituted “pertains to” for “exists by reason of”.
1994—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–322substituted “the Government” for “the government”.

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

18 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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