19 U.S. Code § 1644a - Ports of entry
(b) Secretary of the Treasury
(1) The Secretary of the Treasury may—
(A) designate ports of entry in the United States for civil aircraft arriving in the United States from a place outside the United States and property transported on that aircraft;
(B) detail to ports of entry officers and employees of the United States Customs Service the Secretary considers necessary;
(C) give an officer or employee of the United States Government stationed at a port of entry (with the consent of the head of the department, agency, or instrumentality of the Government with jurisdiction over the officer or employee) duties and powers of officers or employees of the Customs Service;
(D) by regulation, apply to civil air navigation the laws and regulations on carrying out the customs laws, to the extent and under conditions the Secretary considers necessary; and
(2) A person violating a customs regulation prescribed under paragraph (1)(A)–(D) of this subsection or a public health or customs law or regulation made applicable to aircraft by a regulation under paragraph (1)(A)–(D) is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of $5,000 for each violation. An aircraft involved in the violation may be seized and forfeited under the customs laws. The Secretary of the Treasury may remit or mitigate a penalty and forfeiture under this paragraph.
(3) A person violating a regulation made applicable under paragraph (1)(E) of this subsection or an immigration regulation prescribed under paragraph (1)(E) is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of $5,000 for each violation. The Secretary of the Treasury or the Attorney General may remit or mitigate a penalty under this paragraph.
(4) In addition to any other penalty, when a controlled substance described in section 1584 of this title is found on, or to have been unloaded from, an aircraft to which this subsection applies, the owner of, or individual commanding, the aircraft is liable to the Government for the penalties provided in section 1584 of this title for each violation unless the owner or individual, by a preponderance of the evidence, demonstrates that the owner or individual did not know, and by exercising the highest degree of care and diligence, could not have known, that a controlled substance was on the aircraft.
(c) Secretary of Agriculture
(1) The Secretary of Agriculture by regulation may apply laws and regulations on animal and plant quarantine (including laws and regulations on importing, exporting, transporting, and quarantining animals, plants, animal and plant products, insects, bacterial and fungus cultures, viruses, and serums) to civil air navigation to the extent and under conditions the Secretary considers necessary.
(d) Remission and mitigation of penalties
A decision to remit or mitigate a civil penalty under this section is final. When libel proceedings are pending during a proceeding to remit or mitigate a penalty, the appropriate Secretary shall notify the Attorney General of the remission or mitigation proceeding.
(e) Summary seizure of aircraft
(1) An aircraft subject to a lien under this section may be seized summarily by and placed in the custody of a person authorized by regulations of the appropriate Secretary or the Attorney General. A report of the case shall be sent to the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall bring promptly a civil action in rem to enforce the lien or notify the appropriate Secretary that the action will not be brought.
(2) An aircraft seized under this section shall be released from custody when—
(C) the Attorney General gives notice that a civil action will not be brought under paragraph (1) of this subsection; or
(f) Collection of civil penalties
A civil penalty under this section may be collected by bringing a civil action against the person subject to the penalty, a civil action in rem against an aircraft subject to a lien for a penalty, or both. The action shall conform as nearly as practicable to a civil action in admiralty, regardless of the place an aircraft in a civil action in rem is seized. However, a party may demand a trial by jury of an issue of fact if the value of the matter in controversy is more than $20. An issue of fact tried by jury may be reexamined only under common law rules.
(g) Authorization of appropriations
Necessary amounts may be appropriated to allow the head of a department, agency, or instrumentality of the Government to acquire space at a public airport (as defined in section 47102 of title 49) when the head decides the space is necessary to carry out inspections, clearance, collection of taxes or duties, or a similar responsibility of the head, related to transporting passengers or property in air commerce. The head must consult with the Secretary of Transportation before making a decision on space.
Source(Pub. L. 103–272, § 2,July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1358.)
Section was not enacted as part of the Tariff Act of 1930 which comprises this chapter.
Section is based on sections 1474 and 1509 (b)–(e) of former Title 49, Transportation, which were repealed and restated as this section by Pub. L. 103–272, §§ 2, 7 (b),July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1358, 1379.
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.
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