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16 U.S. Code § 3374 - Forfeiture

(a) In general
All fish or wildlife or plants bred, possessed, imported, exported, transported, sold, received, acquired, or purchased contrary to the provisions of section 3372 of this title (other than section 3372(b) of this title), or any regulation issued pursuant thereto, shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States notwithstanding any culpability requirements for civil penalty assessment or criminal prosecution included in section 3373 of this title.
All vessels, vehicles, aircraft, and other equipment used to aid in the importing, exporting, transporting, selling, receiving, acquiring, or purchasing of fish or wildlife or plants in a criminal violation of this chapter for which a felony conviction is obtained shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States if (A) the owner of such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, or equipment was at the time of the alleged illegal act a consenting party or privy thereto or in the exercise of due care should have known that such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, or equipment would be used in a criminal violation of this chapter, and (B) the violation involved the sale or purchase of, the offer of sale or purchase of, or the intent to sell or purchase, fish or wildlife or plants.
(b) Application of customs laws

All provisions of law relating to the seizure, forfeiture, and condemnation of property for violation of the customs laws, the disposition of such property or the proceeds from the sale thereof, and the remission or mitigation of such forfeiture, shall apply to the seizures and forfeitures incurred, or alleged to have been incurred, under the provisions of this chapter, insofar as such provisions of law are applicable and not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, except that all powers, rights, and duties conferred or imposed by the customs laws upon any officer or employee of the Treasury Department may, for the purposes of this chapter, also be exercised or performed by the Secretary or by such persons as he may designate: Provided, That any warrant for search or seizure shall be issued in accordance with rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(c) Storage cost

Any person convicted of an offense, or assessed a civil penalty, under section 3373 of this title shall be liable for the costs incurred in the storage, care, and maintenance of any fish or wildlife or plant seized in connection with the violation concerned.

(d) Civil forfeitures

Civil forfeitures under this section shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 46 of title 18.

Editorial Notes
References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a)(2) and (b), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 97–79, Nov. 16, 1981, 95 Stat. 1073, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 3371 of this title and Tables.

Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, referred to in subsec. (b), is set out in the Appendix to Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.


Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.


2022—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 117–243 inserted “bred, possessed,” before “imported, exported,”.

2008—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–246, § 8204(d), added subsec. (d).

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of the Secretary of Agriculture relating to agricultural import and entry inspection activities under this chapter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 231, 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.