19 U.S. Code § 1621 - Limitation of actions

No suit or action to recover any duty under section 1592 (d), 1593a (d) of this title, or any pecuniary penalty or forfeiture of property accruing under the customs laws shall be instituted unless such suit or action is commenced within five years after the time when the alleged offense was discovered, or in the case of forfeiture, within 2 years after the time when the involvement of the property in the alleged offense was discovered, whichever was later; except that—
(1) in the case of an alleged violation of section 1592 or 1593a of this title, no suit or action (including a suit or action for restoration of lawful duties under subsection (d) of such sections) may be instituted unless commenced within 5 years after the date of the alleged violation or, if such violation arises out of fraud, within 5 years after the date of discovery of fraud, and
(2) the time of the absence from the United States of the person subject to the penalty or forfeiture, or of any concealment or absence of the property, shall not be reckoned within the 5-year period of limitation.

Source

(June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, § 621,46 Stat. 758; Aug. 5, 1935, ch. 438, title III, § 306,49 Stat. 527; Pub. L. 95–410, title I, § 110(e),Oct. 3, 1978, 92 Stat. 897; Pub. L. 103–182, title VI, § 668,Dec. 8, 1993, 107 Stat. 2216; Pub. L. 106–185, § 11,Apr. 25, 2000, 114 Stat. 217.)
Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 621,42 Stat. 988. That section was superseded by section 621 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.
Provisions substantially similar to those in this section, except that the period of limitation was three years, were contained in act June 22, 1874, ch. 391, § 22,18 Stat. 190, prior to repeal by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 643,42 Stat. 989.
Amendments

2000—Pub. L. 106–185inserted “, or in the case of forfeiture, within 2 years after the time when the involvement of the property in the alleged offense was discovered, whichever was later” after “within five years after the time when the alleged offense was discovered” in introductory provisions.
1993—Pub. L. 103–182inserted “any duty under section 1592 (d), 1593a (d) of this title, or” before “any pecuniary penalty” and substituted “discovered; except that—” along with pars. (1) and (2) for “discovered: Provided, That in the case of an alleged violation of section 1592 of this title arising out of gross negligence or negligence, such suit or action shall not be instituted more than five years after the date the alleged violation was committed: Provided further, That the time of the absence from the United States of the person subject to such penalty or forfeiture, or of any concealment or absence of the property, shall not be reckoned within this period of limitation.”
1978—Pub. L. 95–410prescribed for any suit or action for violation of section 1592 of this title arising out of gross negligence or negligence a five year limitation period following date of alleged violation.
1935—Act Aug. 5, 1935, substituted “the alleged offense was discovered” for “such penalty or forfeiture accrued”.
Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–185applicable to any forfeiture proceeding commenced on or after the date that is 120 days after Apr. 25, 2000, see section 21 ofPub. L. 106–185, set out as a note under section 1324 of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality.
Effective Date of 1978 Amendment

Effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 95–410for alleged violation of section 1592 of this title arising out of gross negligence or negligence committed on or after Oct. 3, 1978, or before such date without commencement of proceedings except where barred by provisions of this section in effect prior to such date, see section 110(f)(2) ofPub. L. 95–410, set out as a note under section 1592 of this title.

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19 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

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