Undercover investigative operations of Customs Service
Certification required for exemption of undercover operations from certain laws
With respect to any undercover investigative operation of the United States Customs Service (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Service”) which is necessary for the detection and prosecution of offenses against the United States which are within the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Treasury—
sums authorized to be appropriated for the Service may be used—
to purchase property, buildings, and other facilities, and to lease space, within the United States, the District of Columbia, and the territories and possessions of the United States without regard to—
(i) sections 1341 and 3324 of title 31,
(ii) sections 6301(a) and (b)(1) to (3) and 6306 of title 41,
(iii) chapter 45 of title 41,
(iv)section 8141 of title 40, and
(v)section 3901 of title 41, and
(B) to establish or to acquire proprietary corporations or business entities as part of the undercover operation, and to operate such corporations or business entities on a commercial basis, without regard to sections 9102 and 9103 of title 31;
(2) sums authorized to be appropriated for the Service and the proceeds from the undercover operation, may be deposited in banks or other financial institutions without regard to the provisions of section 648 of title 18 and section 3302 of title 31; and
(3) the proceeds from the undercover operation may be used to offset necessary and reasonable expenses incurred in such operation without regard to the provisions of section 3302 of title 31;
only upon the written certification of the Commissioner of Customs 1
1 See Change of Name note below.
(or, if designated by the Commissioner the Deputy or an Assistant Commissioner of Customs) 1
that any action authorized by paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection is necessary for the conduct of such undercover operation.
Liquidation of corporations and business entities
If a corporation or business entity established or acquired as part of an undercover operation under paragraph (1)(B) of subsection (a) with a net value over $50,000 is to be liquidated, sold, or otherwise disposed of, the Service, as much in advance as the Commissioner or his designee determines is practicable, shall report the circumstances to the Secretary of the Treasury. The proceeds of the liquidation, sale, or other disposition, after obligations are met, shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts.
Deposit of proceeds
As soon as the proceeds from an undercover investigative operation with respect to which an action is authorized and carried out under paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section are no longer necessary for the conduct of such operation, such proceeds or the balance of such proceeds remaining at the time shall be deposited into the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts.
The Service shall conduct a detailed financial audit of each undercover investigative operation which is closed in each fiscal year, and
(A) submit the results of the audit in writing to the Secretary of the Treasury; and
(B) not later than 180 days after such undercover operation is closed, submit a report to the Congress concerning such audit.
The Service shall also submit a report annually to the Congress specifying as to its undercover investigative operations—
(A) the number, by programs, of undercover investigative operations pending as of the end of the 1-year period for which such report is submitted;
(B) the number, by programs, of undercover investigative operations commenced in the 1-year period preceding the period for which such report is submitted; and
(C) the number, by programs, of undercover investigative operations closed in the 1-year period preceding the period for which such report is submitted and, with respect to each such closed undercover operation, the results obtained and any civil claims made with respect thereto.
For purposes of subsection (d) of this section—
The term “closed” refers to the earliest point in time at which—
(A) all criminal proceedings (other than appeals) are concluded, or
(B) covert activities are concluded, whichever occurs later.
(2) The term “employees” means employees, as defined in section 2105 of title 5, of the Service.
The terms “undercover investigative operation” and “undercover operation” mean any undercover investigative operation of the Service—
(i) the gross receipts (excluding interest earned) exceed $50,000, or
(ii) expenditures (other than expenditures for salaries of employees) exceed $150,000; and
(B) which is exempt from section 3302 or 9102 of title 31;
except that subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall not apply with respect to the report required under paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of this section.
(Pub. L. 99–570, title III, § 3131, Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–90; Pub. L. 104–201, div. A, title X, § 1074(d)(3), Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2661; Pub. L. 104–316, title I, § 110(b), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3832; Pub. L. 114–125, title VIII, § 802(d)(2), Feb. 24, 2016, 130 Stat. 210.)