View all text of Part V [§ 1581 - § 1631]

§ 1612.
Seizure; summary sale
(a) Whenever it appears to the Customs Service that any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage seized under the customs laws is liable to perish or to waste or to be greatly reduced in value by keeping, or that the expense of keeping the same is disproportionate to the value thereof, and such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage is subject to section 1607 of this title, and such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage has not been delivered under bond, the Customs Service shall proceed forthwith to advertise and sell the same at auction under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. If such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage is not subject to section 1607 of this title, the Customs Service shall forthwith transmit its report of the seizure to the United States attorney, who shall petition the court to order an immediate sale of such vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage, and if the ends of justice require it the court shall order such immediate sale, the proceeds thereof to be deposited with the court to await the final determination of the condemnation proceedings. Whether such sale be made by the Customs Service or by order of the court, the proceeds thereof shall be held subject to claims of parties in interest to the same extent as the vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage so sold would have been subject to such claim.
(b) If the Customs Service determines that the expense of keeping the vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage is disproportionate to the value thereof, the Customs Service may promptly order the destruction or other appropriate disposition of such property under regulations prescribed by the Secretary. No customs officer shall be liable for the destruction or other disposition of property made pursuant to this section.
(June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, § 612, 46 Stat. 755; June 25, 1948, ch. 646, § 1, 62 Stat. 869; Sept. 1, 1954, ch. 1213, title V, § 506, 68 Stat. 1141; Pub. L. 91–271, title III, § 301(ff), June 2, 1970, 84 Stat. 291; Pub. L. 95–410, title I, § 111(c), Oct. 3, 1978, 92 Stat. 898; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, § 315, Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2054; Pub. L. 98–573, title II, § 213(a)(9), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2985; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7367(c)(4), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4480; Pub. L. 103–182, title VI, § 667, Dec. 8, 1993, 107 Stat. 2215.)