skip to main content

H.R. 2807 (105th): Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 1998

The text of the bill below is as of Apr 28, 1998 (Passed the House).


HR 2807 EH

105th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 2807


AN ACT

To amend the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 to prohibit the sale, importation, and exportation of products labeled as containing substances derived from rhinoceros or tiger.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Rhino and Tiger Product Labeling Act’.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON SALE, IMPORTATION, AND EXPORTATION OF PRODUCTS LABELED AS CONTAINING A SUBSTANCE DERIVED FROM RHINOCEROS OR TIGER.

    (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds the following:

      (1) The populations of several magnificent and unique endangered species of rhinoceros and tigers, such as the Indian rhinoceros, the Javan rhinoceros, the African black rhinoceros, and all of the tiger subspecies, continue to decline.

      (2) Growing demand throughout the world for wildlife and wildlife parts and products has created a market in which commercial exploitation has threatened certain rhinoceros and tiger populations.

      (3) There are insufficient legal mechanisms enabling the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to forcefully interdict products that are labeled as containing substances derived from rhinoceros or tiger species and prosecute the merchandisers for sale or display of those products.

      (4) Although approximately 77,000 import and export shipments occur annually in the United States, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is able to maintain only 92 wildlife inspectors at 30 ports of entry, including 13 designated ports, to monitor the shipments.

      (5) Wildlife inspectors are able to physically inspect only an estimated 5 to 10 percent of all import and export shipments, making the rate of detection of contraband wildlife products extremely low.

      (6) Alternatives are available to the traditional medicinal products that contain substances derived from rhinoceros and tiger species.

      (7) Public education initiatives directed toward traditional user groups on the endangered status of rhinoceros and tiger species and on the availability of alternative products in traditional medicine have proven useful in reducing the demand for products labeled as containing substances derived from rhinoceros and tiger species, and should be encouraged.

    (b) PROHIBITION, PENALTIES, AND ENFORCEMENT- The Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 (16 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) is amended by redesignating section 7 as section 8, and by inserting after section 6 the following:

‘SEC. 7. PROHIBITION RELATING TO PRODUCTS CONTAINING OR PURPORTING TO CONTAIN ANY SUBSTANCE DERIVED FROM A RHINOCEROS OR TIGER SPECIES.

    ‘(a) PROHIBITION- No person shall sell, import, or export, or attempt to sell, import, or export any product, item, or substance intended for human consumption containing or purporting to contain any substance derived from any species of rhinoceros or tiger.

    ‘(b) PENALTIES-

      ‘(1) CRIMINAL PENALTY- Any person who knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.

      ‘(2) CIVIL PENALTIES- Any person who knowingly violates, and any person engaged in business as an importer, distributor, or retailer of products, items, or substances purporting to contain substances derived from any species of rhinoceros or tiger who violates subsection (a) may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of not more than $25,000 for each violation. A civil penalty under this paragraph shall be assessed, and may be collected, in the manner in which a civil penalty under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 may be assessed and collected under section 11(a) of that Act (16 U.S.C. 1540(a)).

    ‘(c) FORFEITURES- Any product, item, or substance sold, imported, or exported, or attempted to be sold, imported, or exported, contrary to the provisions of this Act or any regulation made pursuant thereto shall be seized and forfeited to the United States. All equipment, vessels, vehicles, aircraft, and other means of transportation used to aid the selling, exporting, or importing, or an attempt to sell, export, or import, of any product, item, or substance in violation of this Act or any regulation issued pursuant to this Act, may be seized and forfeited to the United States. All laws relating to the seizure, forfeiture, and condemnation of a vessel for violation of the customs laws, the disposition of such vessel or the proceeds from the sale thereof, and the remission or mitigation of such forfeiture, shall apply to the seizures and forfeitures incurred under this Act, insofar as those laws are applicable and not inconsistent with this Act.

    ‘(d) REGULATIONS- The Secretary, after consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the United States Trade Representative, shall prescribe regulations that are necessary and appropriate to carry out the purposes of this Act.

    ‘(e) ENFORCEMENT- The Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall enforce this Act in the same manner such Secretaries carry out enforcement activities under section 11(e) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1540(e)).’.

    (c) DEFINITION OF PERSON- Section 4 of the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 (16 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) is amended by--

      (1) striking ‘and’ at the end of paragraph (4);

      (2) striking the period at the end of paragraph (5) and inserting ‘; and’; and

      (3) adding at the end the following:

      ‘(6) ‘person’ means--

        ‘(A) an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or other private entity;

        ‘(B) an officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of the Federal Government, of any State, municipality, or political subdivision of a State, or of any foreign government;

        ‘(C) a State, municipality, or political subdivision of a State; or

        ‘(D) any other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.’.

Passed the House of Representatives April 28, 1998.

Attest:

Clerk.