19 CFR 18.4 - Sealing conveyances and compartments; labeling packages; warning cards.

§ 18.4 Sealing conveyances and compartments; labeling packages; warning cards.


(1) Conveyances or compartments in which carload lots of bonded merchandise are transported shall be sealed with commercial shipper seals, Customs red in-bond seals, or other accepted seals. High-security Customs seals will be required on carload or containerized shipments where the Customs officer reviewing the in-bond entry determines it is required to adequately protect the revenue and prevent violations of Customs laws. The bonded carrier will provide Customs with the necessary seals. When the compartment or conveyance cannot be effectively sealed, as in the case of merchandise shipped in open cars or barges, or on the decks of vessels, or when it is known that any seals would necessarily be removed outside the jurisdiction of the United States for the purpose of discharging or taking on cargo, or when it is known that the breaking of the seals will be necessary to ventilate the hatches, or in other similar circumstances, such sealings may be waived with the consent of the carrier and an appropriate notation of such waiver shall be made on the manifest. The Commissioner of Customs may authorize the waiver of sealing of conveyances or compartments in which bonded merchandise is transported in other cases when in his opinion the sealing thereof is unnecessary to protect the revenue or to prevent violations of the Customs laws and regulations.

(2) The port director shall cause a Customs seal to be affixed to a container or road vehicle which is being used to transport merchandise under cover of a TIR carnet unless the container or road vehicle bears a customs seal (domestic or foreign). The port director shall likewise cause a Customs seal or label to be affixed to heavy or bulky goods being so transported. If, however, he has reason to believe that there is a discrepancy between the merchandise listed on the Goods Manifest of the carnet and the merchandise which is to be transported, he shall cause a Customs seal or label to be affixed only when the listing of the merchandise in the carnet and a physical inventory agree.

(b) Ports at which the facilities are insufficient to maintain continuous customs supervision over vessels arriving with bonded cargo while the bonded merchandise is not under Customs seals shall permit the vessels to proceed to destination without further sealing and notation to this effect shall be made on the manifest.


(1) Merchandise not under bond may be transported in sealed conveyances or compartments containing bonded goods when destined for the same place or places beyond, but not when intended for intermediate places.

(2) Merchandise moving under cover of a carnet may not be consolidated with other merchandise.

(d) The seals to be used in sealing conveyances, compartments, or packages must meet Customs standards provided in § 24.13a of this chapter, and may be obtained in accordance with § 24.13 of this chapter.

(e) Except as otherwise provided for in this paragraph, packages shipped in bond or by a carrier permitted to transport articles under the last sentence of section 553 of the tariff act, as amended, shall be corded and sealed or, in lieu thereof, the carrier shall furnish and attach to each such package a warning label on bright red paper, not less than 5 by 8 inches in size, containing the following legend in black or white lettering of a conspicuous size:

U.S. Customs

This package is under bond and must be delivered intact to the Customs officer in charge at the port of destination or to such other place as authorized by Customs.

Warning. Two years' imprisonment, $5,000 fine, or both, is the penalty for unlawful removal of this package or any of its contents.

Transportation Entry No. ____; From ____To ____; This package to be delivered to Customs at ________ (If other than port of destination)
A carrier at its option may omit the last three lines of the above legend from the warning label but if not omitted the information called for must be filled in. If the size of the package renders the use of a 5 × 8 inch warning label impracticable because of lack of space, a 3 × 5 inch label may be used. A high visibility, pressure-sensitive warning label, whether as a continuous series in tape form or otherwise, but not less than 1 1/2 by 3 inches in size, may be used on any size package. Such cording and sealing or labeling of the packages so shipped is not required either when the packages are transported in a conveyance or compartment sealed with Customs seals, or when the sealing of the conveyance or compartment in which the packages are transported is waived under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section. When the packages are shipped in a railroad car the sealing of which is practicable but which is not sealed because merchandise not being transported in bond is or may be carried in the same car, the packages being transported in bond shall be corded and sealed or labeled.

(f) The warning label, when used, shall be pasted securely on the package under Customs supervision as close as practicable to the mark or number on the package. Additional labels may be required by the port director in such places on the package as he shall specify in any case where he is of the opinion that one is not adequate.

(g) When, in the case of crates and similar packages, it is impossible to attach the warning labels by pasting, bright red shipping tags of convenient size, large enough to be conspicuous and containing the same legend as the labels, shall be used in lieu of labels. Such tags shall be wired or otherwise securely fastened to the packages in such manner as not to injure the merchandise.

(h) Bonded carriers shall furnish and securely attach to the side doors of cars, to the doors of compartments, and on vehicles carrying bonded merchandise which are secured with Customs seals, bright red cards, 8 by 10 1/4 inches in size, which shall be attached near such seals and on which shall be printed in large, clear, black letters the following:

United States Customs. Two years' imprisonment, or $5,000 fine, or both, is the penalty for the unlawful removal of United States Customs seals on this car, vehicle, or compartment. United States Customs officers only are authorized to break these seals.

Car or vessel
Number or name

Notice: The merchandise in this car, vehicle, or compartment shall be delivered to the chief officer of the customs at ____.

(i)Removal of seals. Except as provided in § 18.3(d) and § 19.6(e) of this chapter, seals affixed under this section shall be removed only under Customs supervision.

[ 28 FR 14755, Dec. 31, 1963]
Editorial Note:
For Federal Register citations affecting § 18.4, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

United States Code