18 U.S. Code § 955 - Financial transactions with foreign governments

Whoever, within the United States, purchases or sells the bonds, securities, or other obligations of any foreign government or political subdivision thereof or any organization or association acting for or on behalf of a foreign government or political subdivision thereof, issued after April 13, 1934, or makes any loan to such foreign government, political subdivision, organization or association, except a renewal or adjustment of existing indebtedness, while such government, political subdivision, organization or association, is in default in the payment of its obligations, or any part thereof, to the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.
This section is applicable to individuals, partnerships, corporations, or associations other than public corporations created by or pursuant to special authorizations of Congress, or corporations in which the United States has or exercises a controlling interest through stock ownership or otherwise. While any foreign government is a member both of the International Monetary Fund and of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, this section shall not apply to the sale or purchase of bonds, securities, or other obligations of such government or any political subdivision thereof or of any organization or association acting for or on behalf of such government or political subdivision, or to making of any loan to such government, political subdivision, organization, or association.


(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 744; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L),Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 804a of title 31, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Money and Finance (Apr. 13, 1934, ch. 112, §§ 1, 2,48 Stat. 574).
Words “within the United States” were substituted for “within the jurisdiction” etc., in view of the definition of United States in section 5 of this title.
Words “upon conviction thereof” were omitted from first paragraph as surplusage since punishment cannot be imposed until a conviction is secured.
Minor changes were made in phraseology.
Senate Revision Amendment

An additional paragraph was added to the text of this section by Senate amendment, which was taken from section 804b of Title 31, U.S.C., Money and Finance. Therefore, as finally enacted, such section 804b and the Acts from which it was derived (Act Apr. 13, 1934, ch. 112, § 3, as added July 31, 1945, ch. 339, § 9,59 Stat. 516), were an additional source of this section. See Senate Report No. 1620, amendment No. 9, 80th Cong.

1994—Pub. L. 103–322substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $10,000” in first par.
Applicability of Section

Pub. L. 102–511, title IX, § 902,Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3355, provided that: “Section 955 of title 18, United States Code, shall not apply with respect to any obligations of the former Soviet Union, or any of the independent states of the former Soviet Union, or any political subdivision, organization, or association thereof.”

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


LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.