S. 2748 (99th): Customs Enforcement Act of 1986

Aug 13, 1986 (99th Congress, 1985–1986)
Died (Referred to Committee)
Paula Hawkins
Senator from Florida

This bill was introduced on August 13, 1986, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

Introduced Aug 13, 1986
Referred to Committee Aug 13, 1986
Full Title

A bill to amend the Tariff Act of 1930 to increase the effectiveness of the Customs Service in enforcement matters, and for other purposes.


No summaries available.

2 cosponsors (1D, 1R) (show)

Senate Finance

The committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.

Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

GovTrack gets most information from THOMAS, which is updated generally one day after events occur. Activity since the last update may not be reflected here. Data comes via the congress project.


Get a bill status widget for your website »


Click a format for a citation suggestion:


S. stands for Senate bill.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the president to become law.

The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

We don’t have a summary available yet.

Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Customs Enforcement Act of 1986 -
Title I - Amendments to the Tariff Act of 1930
Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to include monetary instruments within the meaning of "merchandise." Defines "controlled substances" and the terms "prohibited" and "restricted." Requires the owner of any vessel from a foreign port or place, any foreign vessel from a domestic port or place, or any U.S. vessel carrying bonded merchandise or foreign merchandise for which entry has not been made, to immediately report such vessel's arrival (currently within 24 hours after the arrival of such vessel) at a U.S. or Virgin Islands port or place to the nearest customs facility or to such other place as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. Authorizes the Secretary to prescribe regulations which provide the manner in which arrivals are to be reported and which extend the time (not beyond 24 hours) after the arrival of any vessel in which to report such arrival.
Restricts the arrival of vehicles in the United States at border crossing points designated by the Secretary and requires the person in charge of such vehicle (immediately upon the arrival of such vehicle in the United States) to report such arrival to, and present such vehicle, and all persons and merchandise (including baggage) on board such vehicle, for inspection to the customs officer at the customs facility.
Requires the pilot of any aircraft arriving in the United States to comply with such advance notification, arrival reporting, and landing requirements as the Secretary may prescribe by regulations.
Prohibits any vessel, vehicle, or aircraft from departing from a port, place, or airport of arrival or from discharging merchandise (including baggage) or passengers, except in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary. Requires the owner of a ship, person in charge of a vehicle, or pilot of an aircraft to present to the customs officer such documents, papers, and manifests as the Secretary may prescribe by regulations.
Sets forth both civil and criminal penalties for violations of such arrival, reporting, and entry requirements.
Increases the fine from $500 to $5,000 (and $10,000 for each subsequent violation) for persons in charge of a vessel or vehicle who fail to make a report or entry to the appropriate customs officials before departure from any collection district.
Increases the fine from $500 to $1,000 (for the first passenger and $500 for each additional passenger) for such persons who permit the unloading of passengers from such vessels or vehicles without a special license or permit issued by the appropriate customs officer.
(1) all persons arriving in the United States other than by vessel, vehicle, or aircraft to enter the United States at a border crossing point designated by the Secretary and to report their arrival and present themselves and all accompanying articles for inspection to the appropriate customs officer; and
(2) all passengers and crew members aboard a conveyance arriving in the United States to remain aboard such conveyance until authorized by the appropriate customs officer.
Sets forth both civil and criminal penalties for persons in charge of a vessel or vehicle (arriving in the United States from a contiguous country) who:
(1) fail to report their arrival;
(2) depart from a designated customs facility without appropriate authorization; or
(3) present a forged, altered, or false manifest, document, or paper to a customs officer.
Provides that entered or unentered merchandise (including merchandise entered for transportation in bond or for exportation) that remains in customs custody for six months (presently one year) from the date of its importation and without estimated duties having been paid to be considered unclaimed and abandoned to the Government and shall be appraised and sold at public auction.
Sets forth specified provisions with respect to title and use of such merchandise.
Requires the Secretary to dispose of merchandise that has been seized by the Government and found to bear a counterfeit trademark within 60 days after its forfeiture by sale by appropriate customs officers at a public auction under regulations prescribed by the Secretary. Increases the fines for persons in charge of any vehicle who:
(1) lack or falsify a manifest; or
(2) transport specified controlled substances.
Increases both the civil and criminal penalties for such persons who allow any merchandise (including sea stores) to be illegally unladen within the customs waters of the United States. Prohibits:
(1) a pilot of an aircraft to transport, or for any person on board such aircraft, to possess merchandise knowing or intending that it be introduced into the United States contrary to law; and
(2) any person from transferring any controlled substances, spirits, wines, or other alcoholic liquors between an aircraft and a vessel (that is owned by a U.S. citizen or registered in the United States) on the high seas or U.S. customs waters; or
(3) regardless of the nationality of such vessel or aircraft, any such transfer with the intent to introduce such substances into the United States. Sets forth civil and criminal penalties.
Provides for the forfeiture by the appropriate customs officials of merchandise that has entered the United States by means of false documentation.
Prohibits a person either by fraud, gross negligence, or negligence from making false statements, or submitting to a Government agency a materially false act or omission:
(1) which affects the payment or credit to that person of a drawback payment, refund of duties, allowance, or rebate; or
(2) which relates to merchandise which is to be exported contrary to law.
Sets forth civil penalties.
Provides for the seizure, forfeiture, and sale of merchandise (that is involved in a conveyance) whenever any vessel, vehicle, or aircraft, or the owner, driver, or pilot of such vessel has violated the customs laws of the United States. Prohibits any conveyance used by a person as a common carrier (in the transaction of business as a common carrier) from being subject to seizure or forfeiture under the customs laws for violations relating to merchandise that is contained in baggage belonging to a legally transported passenger, or that is in the conveyance's cargo, if such cargo is listed on the carrier's manifest.
Provides for the seizure and forfeiture of any prohibited merchandise or controlled substance (on board a conveyance that is used as a common carrier in the transaction of business as a common carrier) which is not manifested, or whose markings disagree with such manifest, or which is found concealed in or on the conveyance (but not in the cargo).
Permits a person authorized to make searches and seizures (in any dwelling house, store, or building) to apply for a warrant from a Federal magistrate (presently U.S. commissioner) if such person suspects the presence of any property that is subject to forfeiture under the customs laws or any documents, containers, wrappings, or other articles which evidence violations of such laws.
Provides for the seizure and forfeiture of merchandise that someone has introduced or attempted to introduce into the United States contrary to law.
Sets forth specified procedures with respect to the disposition of property forfeited under the customs laws.
Sets the compensation of informers who report violations of such laws to not more than 25 percent (currently 25 percent).
Deletes a provision which prohibits the Secretary from delegating the authority to pay an informer an award in excess of $10,000 to an official below the level of the Commissioner of Customs. Provides (with respect to the tolling of the statute of limitations) that an action to recover a pecuniary penalty is deemed to have been commenced when the appropriate customs officer issues a penalty notice.
Authorizes the Secretary to prescribe regulations that authorize customs officers to exchange information with foreign customs agencies and law enforcement agencies with respect to the enforcement of the customs laws.
Provides, when authorized by treaty or executive agreement, that the Secretary may station customs personnel in foreign countries.
Authorizes the Commissioner of Customs, upon certification that commercial cover is necessary, to establish commercial entities as commercial covers to support U.S. Customs Service investigations.
Requires, upon the liquidation of such commercial cover, the funds from such liquidation to be deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.
Title II - Miscellaneous Provisions
Requires any vessel which has visited any hovering vessel, or has received merchandise while such vessel is in customs waters beyond the territorial sea, or has received merchandise on the high seas, to be treated as having arrived from a foreign port or place.
Amends Federal law to subject all pleasure vessels, including all persons aboard, to applicable customs regulations under the Tariff Act of 1930.
Amends the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to provide a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment not to exceed two years, or both, for persons (owners of aircraft) who operate an aircraft:
(1) that is not registered;
(2) during any period for which the aircraft certificate or registration has been suspended or revoked by the Secretary of Transportation;
(3) without proper authorization to operate or navigate an aircraft without registration for a period of time after transfer ownership; and
(4) without a valid airman certificate.
Increases the fine from $500 to $5,000 for any person who violates specified entry requirements relating to civil aircraft and vessels.
Subjects owners of aircraft who transport any controlled substances to specified penalties.
Requires any person having an ownership interest in an aircraft for which a certificate of registration has been issued, upon the sale, transfer, or conveyance of such interest, to file within 15 days such notice as the Secretary of the Treasury may provide.
Amends Federal law to replace specified provisions (regarding the smuggling of controlled substances) with provisions relating to the importation or exportation of merchandise, the reporting or transportation of monetary instruments, or the enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act. Requires every customs officer, in the exercise of his duties, to:
(1) make known his character as a customs officer; and
(2) have the authority to demand assistance in executing any arrest, search, or seizure.
Increases the fine to $1,000 (currently $200, not less than $5) for persons who refuse, without reasonable excuse, to assist a customs officer.
Provides that any person (other than an officer or employee of the United States) who renders assistance in good faith shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of rendering such assistance (provided such person acts as an ordinary, reasonably prudent person).
Requires a person or his agent to file a report with the Secretary of the Treasury when such person or agent knowingly receives monetary instruments of more than $10,000 (presently $5,000) at one time transported into the United States from a place outside the United States.
Title III - Amendments to the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act
Amends the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act to prohibit any U.S. citizen on board any aircraft to manufacture or distribute, or possess with the intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance (including the introduction of such substance into the United States or within a 12 mile distance of the U.S. coast).
Title IV - Amendments to the Criminal Code
Amends Federal law to provide a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment not to exceed two years, or both, for persons (owners of aircraft) who operate an aircraft: (1) without navigation and/or anticollision lights; and (2) with an illegal fuel tank or system installation aboard. Subjects any unlawful fuel tank, or system installation, and aircraft to seizure and forfeiture.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

Use the comment space below for discussion of the merits of S. 2748 (99th) with other GovTrack users.
Your comments are not read by Congressional staff.

comments powered by Disqus