19 U.S. Code § 1612 - Seizure; summary sale

(a) Whenever it appears to the Customs Service that any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage seized under the customs laws is liable to perish or to waste or to be greatly reduced in value by keeping, or that the expense of keeping the same is disproportionate to the value thereof, and such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage is subject to section 1607 of this title, and such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage has not been delivered under bond, the Customs Service shall proceed forthwith to advertise and sell the same at auction under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. If such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage is not subject to section 1607 of this title, the Customs Service shall forthwith transmit its report of the seizure to the United States attorney, who shall petition the court to order an immediate sale of such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage, and if the ends of justice require it the court shall order such immediate sale, the proceeds thereof to be deposited with the court to await the final determination of the condemnation proceedings. Whether such sale be made by the Customs Service or by order of the court, the proceeds thereof shall be held subject to claims of parties in interest to the same extent as the vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage so sold would have been subject to such claim.
(b) If the Customs Service determines that the expense of keeping the vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage is disproportionate to the value thereof, the Customs Service may promptly order the destruction or other appropriate disposition of such property under regulations prescribed by the Secretary. No customs officer shall be liable for the destruction or other disposition of property made pursuant to this section.

Source

(June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, § 612,46 Stat. 755; June 25, 1948, ch. 646, § 1,62 Stat. 869; Sept. 1, 1954, ch. 1213, title V, § 506,68 Stat. 1141; Pub. L. 91–271, title III, § 301(ff),June 2, 1970, 84 Stat. 291; Pub. L. 95–410, title I, § 111(c),Oct. 3, 1978, 92 Stat. 898; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, § 315,Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2054; Pub. L. 98–573, title II, § 213(a)(9),Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2985; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7367(c)(4),Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4480; Pub. L. 103–182, title VI, § 667,Dec. 8, 1993, 107 Stat. 2215.)
Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 612,42 Stat. 986. That section was superseded by section 612 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.
Provisions concerning the sale of property liable to perish or waste, etc., were contained in R.S. § 3080, prior to repeal by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 642,42 Stat. 989.
Amendments

1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–182, § 667(1), substituted “the Customs Service” for “the appropriate customs officer” after “Whenever it appears to”, for “such officer” after “delivered under bond,”, for “such officer” before “shall forthwith transmit” and for “the customs officer” after “Whether such sale be made by” and substituted “its report of the seizure” for “the appraiser’s return and his report of the seizure”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–182, § 667(2), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “If the expense of keeping the vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage is disproportionate to the value thereof, and such value is less than $1,000, such officer may proceed forthwith to order destruction or other appropriate disposition of such property, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury.”
1988—Pub. L. 100–690reenacted section substantially without change.
1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–573designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted reference to aircraft in six places and substituted “the value thereof, and such vessel” for “the value thereof, and the value of such vessel”, “is subject to section 1607 of this title” for “as determined under section 1606 of this title, does not exceed $10,000”, “If such vessel” for “If such value of such vessel”, and “baggage is not subject to section 1607 of this title,” for “baggage exceeds $10,000”, and added subsec. (b).
Pub. L. 98–473amended section in manner substantially identical to amendment by Pub. L. 98–573, but did not add a subsec. (b) or provisions similar thereto.
1978—Pub. L. 95–410substituted “$10,000” for “$2,500” wherever appearing.
1970—Pub. L. 91–271substituted references to appropriate customs officer or such officer for references to collector wherever appearing therein, and struck out references to appraiser and appraiser’s return of value.
1954—Act Sept. 1, 1954, substituted “$2,500” for “$1,000” wherever appearing.
Change of Name

Act June 25, 1948, eff. Sept. 1, 1948, substituted “United States attorney” for “United States district attorney”. See section 541 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and Historical and Revision Note thereunder.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–573effective Oct. 15, 1984, see section 214(e) ofPub. L. 98–573, set out as a note under section 1304 of this title.
Effective Date of 1970 Amendment

For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 91–271, see section 203 ofPub. L. 91–271, set out as a note under section 1500 of this title.
Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities of the United States Customs Service of the Department of the Treasury, including functions of the Secretary of the Treasury relating thereto, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 203 (1), 551 (d), 552 (d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.

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

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19 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

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27 CFR - Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms

27 CFR Part 72 - DISPOSITION OF SEIZED PERSONAL PROPERTY

28 CFR - Judicial Administration

28 CFR Part 8 - FORFEITURE AUTHORITY FOR CERTAIN STATUTES

28 CFR Part 9 - REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE REMISSION OR MITIGATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE, CIVIL, AND CRIMINAL FORFEITURES

50 CFR - Wildlife and Fisheries

50 CFR Part 12 - SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE PROCEDURES

 

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