18 USC Sec. 951 01/05/2009
TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 45 - FOREIGN RELATIONS
Sec. 951. Agents of foreign governments
(a) Whoever, other than a diplomatic or consular officer or
attacheé, acts in the United States as an agent of a foreign
government without prior notification to the Attorney General if
required in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
(b) The Attorney General shall promulgate rules and regulations
establishing requirements for notification.
(c) The Attorney General shall, upon receipt, promptly transmit
one copy of each notification statement filed under this section to
the Secretary of State for such comment and use as the Secretary of
State may determine to be appropriate from the point of view of the
foreign relations of the United States. Failure of the Attorney
General to do so shall not be a bar to prosecution under this
(d) For purposes of this section, the term "agent of a foreign
government" means an individual who agrees to operate within the
United States subject to the direction or control of a foreign
government or official, except that such term does not include -
(1) a duly accredited diplomatic or consular officer of a
foreign government, who is so recognized by the Department of
(2) any officially and publicly acknowledged and sponsored
official or representative of a foreign government;
(3) any officially and publicly acknowledged and sponsored
member of the staff of, or employee of, an officer, official, or
representative described in paragraph (1) or (2), who is not a
United States citizen; or
(4) any person engaged in a legal commercial transaction.
(e) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(4), any person engaged in a
legal commercial transaction shall be considered to be an agent of
a foreign government for purposes of this section if -
(1) such person agrees to operate within the United States
subject to the direction or control of a foreign government or
(2) such person -
(A) is an agent of Cuba or any other country that the
President determines (and so reports to the Congress) poses a
threat to the national security interest of the United States
for purposes of this section, unless the Attorney General,
after consultation with the Secretary of State, determines and
so reports to the Congress that the national security or
foreign policy interests of the United States require that the
provisions of this section do not apply in specific
circumstances to agents of such country; or
(B) has been convicted of, or has entered a plea of nolo
contendere with respect to, any offense under section 792
through 799, 831, or 2381 of this title or under section 11 of
the Export Administration Act of 1979, except that the
provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a person
described in this clause for a period of more than five years
beginning on the date of the conviction or the date of entry of
the plea of nolo contendere, as the case may be.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 743; Pub. L. 97-462, Sec. 6, Jan.
12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2530; Pub. L. 98-473, title II, Sec. 1209, Oct.
12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2164; Pub. L. 99-569, title VII, Sec. 703, Oct.
27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3205; Pub. L. 103-199, title II, Sec. 202, Dec.
17, 1993, 107 Stat. 2321; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec.
330016(1)(R), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Based on section 601 of title 22, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Foreign
Relations and Intercourse (June 15, 1917, ch. 30, title VIII, Sec.
3, 40 Stat. 226; Mar. 28, 1940, ch. 72, Sec. 6, 54 Stat. 80).
Mandatory punishment provision was rephrased in the alternative.
Minor changes in phraseology were made.
REFERENCES IN TEXT
Section 11 of the Export Administration Act of 1979, referred to
in subsec. (e)(2)(B), is classified to section 2410 of Title 50,
Appendix, War and National Defense.
1994 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103-322 substituted "fined under this
title" for "fined not more than $75,000".
1993 - Subsec. (e)(2)(A). Pub. L. 103-199 substituted "Cuba or
any other country that the President determines (and so reports to
the Congress) poses a threat to the national security interest of
the United States for purposes of this section" for "the Soviet
Union, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Czechoslovakia,
Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, or Cuba".
1986 - Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99-569 added subsec. (e).
1984 - Pub. L. 98-473 designated existing provisions as subsec.
(a), substituted "Attorney General if required in subsection (b)"
for "Secretary of State", and added subsecs. (b) to (d).
1983 - Pub. L. 97-462 increased limitation on fines to $75,000
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1983 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 97-462 effective 45 days after Jan. 12,
1983, see section 4 of Pub. L. 97-462, set out as a note under
section 2071 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.