19 U.S. Code § 1499 - Examination of merchandise
Imported merchandise that is required by law or regulation to be inspected, examined, or appraised shall not be delivered from customs custody (except under such bond or other security as may be prescribed by the Secretary to assure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and instructions which the Secretary or the Customs Service is authorized to enforce) until the merchandise has been inspected, appraised, or examined and is reported by the Customs Service to have been truly and correctly invoiced and found to comply with the requirements of the laws of the United States.
If a deficiency is found in quantity, weight, or measure in the examination of any package, the person finding the deficiency shall make a report thereof to the Customs Service. The Customs Service shall make allowance for the deficiency in the liquidation of duties.
If an examination is conducted, any information required for release shall be provided, either electronically or in paper form, to the Customs Service at the port of examination. The absence of such information does not limit the authority of the Customs Service to conduct an examination.
A laboratory applying for accreditation, or that is accredited, under this section may contest any decision or order of the Customs Service denying, suspending, or revoking accreditation, or imposing a monetary penalty, by commencing an action in accordance with chapter 169 of title 28 in the Court of International Trade within 60 days after issuance of the decision or order.
When requested by an importer of record of merchandise, the Customs Service shall authorize the release to the importer of a representative sample of the merchandise for testing, at the expense of the importer, by a laboratory accredited under paragraph (1). The testing results from a laboratory accredited under paragraph (1) that are submitted by an importer of record with respect to merchandise in an entry shall, in the absence of testing results obtained from a Customs Service laboratory, be accepted by the Customs Service if the importer of record certifies that the sample tested was taken from the merchandise in the entry. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit in any way or preclude the authority of the Customs Service to test or analyze any sample or merchandise independently.
Within the 5-day period (excluding weekends and holidays) following the date on which merchandise is presented for customs examination, the Customs Service shall decide whether to release or detain the merchandise. Merchandise which is not released within such 5-day period shall be considered to be detained merchandise.
Upon request by the importer or other party having an interest in detained merchandise, the Customs Service shall provide the party with copies of the results of any testing conducted by the Customs Service on the merchandise and a description of the testing procedures and methodologies (unless such procedures or methodologies are proprietary to the holder of a copyright or patent or were developed by the Customs Service for enforcement purposes). The results and test description shall be in sufficient detail to permit the duplication and analysis of the testing and the results.
If otherwise provided by law, detained merchandise may be seized and forfeited.
Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 499, 42 Stat. 965. That section was superseded by section 499 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.
A prior provision prohibiting delivery of merchandise liable to be inspected or appraised, until it had been inspected or appraised, or until the packages sent to be inspected or appraised, should be found correctly invoiced, and be so reported, with a further provision as to the taking of bonds conditioned for delivery of the merchandise, and the forfeiture of such bonds, was contained in R.S. § 2899.
Provisions substantially similar to those in this section concerning the number of packages to be examined (not including the provision for designation of a less number by the Secretary of the Treasury) and concerning packages found to contain articles not specified in the invoice, with a further provision for remission of the forfeiture, were contained in R.S. § 2901.
A prior provision, concerning deficiencies somewhat similar to that in this section, was contained in R.S. § 2921.
A special provision concerning the number of packages to be examined and appraised at the port of New York was contained in R.S. § 2939.
A provision concerning returns by weighers, gaugers, and measurers, was contained in R.S. § 2890.
All of the foregoing sections of the Revised Statutes were repealed by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 642, 42 Stat. 989.
1993—Pub. L. 103–182 amended section generally, substituting present provisions for provisions which required imported merchandise to be inspected, examined, appraised, and reported by appropriate customs officer to have been truly and correctly invoiced and found to comply with requirements of laws of the United States prior to release of such merchandise from customs custody.
1970—Pub. L. 91–271 substituted references to appropriate customs officer or such officer for references to collector or appraiser wherever appearing, and struck out references to duties of appraiser.
1938—Act June 25, 1938, amended section generally and among other changes inserted provision relating to invalidity of appraisements made after effective date of Customs Administrative Act of 1938.
Amendment by act June 25, 1938, effective on thirtieth day following June 25, 1938, except as otherwise specifically provided, see section 37 of act June 25, 1938, set out as a note under section 1401 of this title.
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, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.
Functions of all other officers of Department of the Treasury and functions of all agencies and employees of such Department transferred, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of the Treasury, with power vested in him to authorize their performance or performance of any of his functions, by any of such officers, agencies, and employees, by Reorg. Plan No. 26 of 1950, §§ 1, 2, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935,64 Stat. 1280, 1281, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.