What Are Federal Customs Crimes?
Federal laws on crimes related to customs generally involve fraud related to the importation or exportation of U.S. goods. The more serious offenses include smuggling goods or stealing goods from customs. Such crimes include:
- Entry of falsely classified goods: Entering goods into the U.S. that have been falsely classified by weight, value, or payment of duty less than what is owed.
- Entry of goods by means of false statements: Entering imported goods into the U.S. by any kind of fraud or false statement, regardless of whether the U.S. will be deprived of any lawful duties.
- Entry of goods for less than legal duty: An officer admitting entry of goods, wares, or merchandise for less than the amount of duty owed.
- Re-landing of goods: Importing and/or exporting merchandise by means of avoiding duty.
- Smuggling goods into the United States: Smuggling goods into the U.S. without an invoice or by fraudulent invoice or other document, or receiving, concealing, selling, or purchasing such goods.
- Smuggling goods into foreign countries: Owning, employing, or participating in the use of a vessel to smuggle goods into a foreign country if its laws penalize violation of U.S. laws respecting customs revenue.
- Depositing goods in buildings on boundaries: Receiving or depositing merchandise in any building on the boundary line between the U.S. and any foreign country, or carrying any merchandise through the same.
- Removing or repacking goods in warehouses: fraudulently concealing, removing, or repacking merchandise in any bonded warehouse or fraudulently altering, defacing or obliterating any marks or numbers placed upon packages deposited in such warehouse.
- Fraudulently attaching a customs seal to a vessel, vehicle, warehouse, or package; or
- Removing, breaking, or injuring a legitimate customs seal from a vessel, vehicle, warehouse or package; or
- Entering a bonded warehouse with the intent to remove merchandise, actually removing such merchandise, or receiving or transporting such merchandise.
- False claim for refund of duties: filing any fraudulent claim or false document for refund or payment greater than what is owed for duties of exported merchandise.
- Concealing or destroying invoices or other papers: relating to merchandise imported into the U.S. after an inspection has been demanded, or for the purpose of suppressing evidence of fraud.
- Officers aiding importation of obscene or treasonous books and articles: Any employee of the U.S. aiding or abetting the violation of any law prohibiting importing, advertising, dealing in, exhibiting, or sending or receiving by mail material that is obscene or indecent, or urges treason, insurrection, or forcible resistance to laws of the U.S., contains a threat to take life or inflict bodily harm, or means to procure abortion.
- Importation or exportation of stolen motor vehicles, off-highway mobile equipment, vessels, or aircraft: importing, exporting, or attempting to import or export any stolen vehicle, off-highway mobile equipment, vessel, or aircraft.
- Smuggling goods from the United States: fraudulently exporting or attempting to export any merchandise contrary to law, or receiving, concealing, buying, or selling such merchandise.
- Violations of arrival, reporting, entry, and clearance requirements: Any person in charge of a vehicle or aircraft who intentionally violates requirements to report manifest, arrival, entry, or clearance.
- Failure to declare: any article not included in the customs declaration as required