All Agencies, Latest Month All Agencies, Current FY Geographic Distribution
of Convictions for
All Agencies, FY 2024
2 Prosecutions
in April 2024
39 Prosecutions
in Fiscal Year 2024
3 Convictions
in April 2024
38 Convictions
in Fiscal Year 2024


    18 USC Sec. 545                                             01/05/2009




    Sec. 545. Smuggling goods into the United States


      Whoever knowingly and willfully, with intent to defraud the
    United States, smuggles, or clandestinely introduces or attempts to
    smuggle or clandestinely introduce into the United States any
    merchandise which should have been invoiced, or makes out or
    passes, or attempts to pass, through the customhouse any false,
    forged, or fraudulent invoice, or other document or paper; or
      Whoever fraudulently or knowingly imports or brings into the
    United States, any merchandise contrary to law, or receives,
    conceals, buys, sells, or in any manner facilitates the
    transportation, concealment, or sale of such merchandise after
    importation, knowing the same to have been imported or brought into
    the United States contrary to law -
      Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20
    years, or both.
      Proof of defendant's possession of such goods, unless explained
    to the satisfaction of the jury, shall be deemed evidence
    sufficient to authorize conviction for violation of this section.
      Merchandise introduced into the United States in violation of
    this section, or the value thereof, to be recovered from any person
    described in the first or second paragraph of this section, shall
    be forfeited to the United States.
      The term "United States", as used in this section, shall not
    include the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Wake Island, Midway
    Islands, Kingman Reef, Johnston Island, or Guam.


    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 716; Aug. 24, 1954, ch. 890, Sec.
    1, 68 Stat. 782; Sept. 1, 1954, ch. 1213, title V, Sec. 507, 68
    Stat. 1141; June 30, 1955, ch. 258, Sec. 2(c), 69 Stat. 242; Pub.
    L. 103-322, title XXXII, Sec. 320903(c), title XXXIII, Secs.
    330004(18), 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2125, 2142,
    2147; Pub. L. 104-294, title VI, Sec. 604(b)(23), Oct. 11, 1996,
    110 Stat. 3508; Pub. L. 109-177, title III, Sec. 310, Mar. 9, 2006,
    120 Stat. 242.)


      Based on section 1593 of title 19, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Customs
    Duties (June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, Sec. 593, 46 Stat. 751).
      Reference in first paragraph to aiders, contained in words "his,
    her, or their aiders and abettors" was omitted as unnecessary since
    such persons are made principals by section 2 of this title. For
    the same reason words "or assists in so doing" in second paragraph
    were deleted.
      Words "shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor," in first
    paragraph were omitted in view of definition of misdemeanor in
    section 1 of this title.
      Conviction provision in first paragraph reading "and on
    conviction thereof" was deleted as surplusage since punishment
    cannot be imposed until a conviction is secured.
      Minimum punishment provision "nor less than $50" in second
    paragraph was deleted.
      Forfeiture provision was rephrased to make it clear that
    forfeiture was not dependent upon conviction.
      The final paragraph was added to conform with section 1709 of
    title 19, U.S.C., 1940 ed.
      Changes were made in phraseology.
      2006 - Pub. L. 109-177, which directed amendment of third par. by
    substituting "20 years" for "5 years", was executed by making the
    substitution for "five years", to reflect the probable intent of
      1996 - Pub. L. 104-294 amended Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330004(18).
    See 1994 Amendment note below.
      1994 - Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(L), substituted "fined
    under this title" for "fined not more than $10,000" in third par.
      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330004(18), as amended by Pub. L. 104-294,
    Sec. 604(b)(23), struck out "Philippine Islands," before "Virgin
    Islands" in last par.
      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320903(c), inserted "or attempts to smuggle
    or clandestinely introduce" after "clandestinely introduces" in
    first par.
      1955 - Act June 30, 1955, inserted reference to Johnston Island.
      1954 - Act Sept. 1, 1954, permitted forfeiture of value of
    merchandise imported in violation of section.
      Act Aug. 24, 1954, increased fine from $5,000 to $10,000 and
    imprisonment from two years to five years.
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1996 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by Pub. L. 104-294 effective Sept. 13, 1994, see
    section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104-294, set out as a note under section
    13 of this title.
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1955 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by act June 30, 1955, effective July 1, 1955, see
    section 2(d) of act June 30, 1955, set out as a note under section
    1401 of Title 19, Customs Duties.
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1954 AMENDMENT
      Section 2 of act Aug. 24, 1954, provided that: "The amendments
    made by the first section of this Act [amending this section] shall
    apply only with respect to offenses committed on and after the date
    of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 24, 1954]."
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