19 U.S. Code § 1631 - Use of private collection agencies
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary, under such terms and conditions as the Secretary considers appropriate, shall enter into contracts and incur obligations with one or more persons for collection services to recover indebtedness arising under the customs laws and owed the United States Government, but only after the Customs Service has exhausted all administrative efforts, including all claims against applicable surety bonds, to collect the indebtedness.
The debtor shall be assessed and pay any and all costs associated with collection efforts pursuant to this section. Notwithstanding section 3302(b) of title 31, any sum so collected shall be used to pay the costs of debt collection services.
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.