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

§ 1613b.
Customs Forfeiture Fund
(a)
In general
(1)
There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund to be known as the “Customs Forfeiture Fund” (hereafter in this section referred to as the “Fund”), which shall be available to the United States Customs Service, subject to appropriation, with respect to seizures and forfeitures by the United States Customs Service and the United States Coast Guard under any law enforced or administered by those agencies for payment, or for reimbursement to the appropriation from which payment was made, for—
(A) all proper expenses of the seizure (including investigative costs incurred by the United States Customs Service leading to seizures) or the proceedings of forfeiture and sale, including, but not limited to, the expenses of inventory, security, and maintenance of custody of the property, advertisement and sale of the property, and if condemned by the court and a bond for such costs was not given, the costs as taxed by the court;
(B) awards of compensation to informers under section 1619 of this title;
(C)
satisfaction of—
(i) liens for freight, charges, and contributions in general average, notice of which has been filed with the appropriate customs officer according to law, and
(ii) other liens against forfeited property;
(D) amounts authorized by law with respect to remission and mitigation;
(E) claims of parties in interest to property disposed of under section 1612(b) of this title, in the amounts applicable to such claims at the time of seizure; and
(F) equitable sharing payments made to other Federal agencies, State and local law enforcement agencies, and foreign countries under the authority of section 1616a(c) of this title or section 981 of title 18.
(2)
(A) Any payment made under subparagraph (C) or (D) of paragraph (1) with respect to a seizure or a forfeiture of property shall not exceed the value of the property at the time of the seizure.
(B) Any payment made under subparagraph (F) of paragraph (1) with respect to a seizure or forfeiture of property shall not exceed the value of the property at the time of disposition.
(3)
In addition to the purposes described in paragraph (1), the Fund shall be available for—
(A)
purchases by the United States Customs Service of evidence of—
(i) smuggling of controlled substances, and
(ii) violations of the currency and foreign transaction reporting requirements of chapter 51 of title 31, if there is a substantial probability that the violations of these requirements are related to the smuggling of controlled substances;
(B) equipment for any vessel, vehicle, or aircraft available for official use by the United States Customs Service to enable the vessel, vehicle, or aircraft to assist in law enforcement functions;
(C) the reimbursement, at the discretion of the Secretary, of private persons for expenses incurred by such persons in cooperating with the United States Customs Service in investigations and undercover law enforcement operations;
(D) publication of the availability of awards under section 1619 of this title;
(E) equipment for any vessel, vehicle, or aircraft available for official use by a State or local law enforcement agency to enable the vessel, vehicle, or aircraft to assist in law enforcement functions if the conveyance will be used in joint law enforcement operations with the United States Customs Service; and
(F) payment of overtime salaries, travel, fuel, training, equipment, and other similar costs of State and local law enforcement officers that are incurred in joint law enforcement operations with the United States Customs Service.
(b)
United States Coast Guard
The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall make available to the United States Coast Guard, from funds appropriated under subsection (f)(2) in excess of $10,000,000 for a fiscal year, proceeds in the Fund derived from seizures by the Coast Guard. Funds made available under this subsection may be used for—
(1) equipment for any vessel, vehicle, or aircraft available for official use by the United States Coast Guard to enable the vessel, vehicle, or aircraft to assist in law enforcement functions;
(2) equipment for any vessel, vehicle, equipment, or aircraft available for official use by a State or local law enforcement agency to enable the vessel, vehicle, or aircraft to assist in law enforcement functions if the conveyance will be used in joint law enforcement operations with the United States Coast Guard;
(3) payment of overtime salaries, travel, fuel, training, equipment, and other similar costs of State and local law enforcement officers that are incurred in joint law enforcement operations with the United States Coast Guard; and
(4) expenses incurred in bringing vessels into compliance with applicable environmental laws prior to disposal by sinking.
(c)
Deposits

There shall be deposited into the Fund all forfeited currency and proceeds from forfeiture under any law enforced or administered by the United States Customs Service or the United States Coast Guard and all income from investments made under subsection (d).

(d)
Investment

Amounts in the Fund which are not currently needed for the purposes of this section shall be invested in obligations of, or guaranteed by, the United States.

(e)
Annual reports; audits
(1)
The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall transmit to the Congress, by no later than February 1 of each fiscal year the following detailed reports:
(A)
a report on—
(i) the estimated total value of property forfeited under any law enforced or administered by the United States Customs Service or the United States Coast Guard with respect to which funds were not deposited in the Fund during the previous fiscal year, and
(ii) the estimated total value of all such property transferred to any State or local law enforcement agency;
(B)
a report on—
(i) the balance of the Fund at the beginning of the preceding fiscal year;
(ii) liens and mortgages paid and amount of money shared with State and local law enforcement agencies during the previous fiscal year;
(iii) the net amount realized from the operations of the Fund during the previous fiscal year, the amount of seized cash being held as evidence, and the amount of money that has been carried over to the current fiscal year;
(iv) any defendant’s equity in property valued at $1,000,000 or more;
(v) the balance of the Fund at the end of the previous fiscal year; and
(C)
a report containing, for the previous fiscal year—
(i) a complete set of audited financial statements (including a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow analysis) prepared in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Comptroller General, and
(ii)
an analysis of income and expenses showing the revenue received or lost—
(I) by property category (general property, vehicles, vessels, aircraft, cash, and real property) and(II) by type of disposition (sales, remissions, cancellations, placed into official use, sharing with State and local agencies, and destructions).
(2) The Fund shall be subject to audits conducted by the Comptroller General of the United States, under such conditions as the Comptroller General determines appropriate.
(f)
Authorization of appropriations
(1) There are hereby appropriated from the Fund such sums as may be necessary to carry out the purposes set forth in subsection (a)(1).
(2)
(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), there are authorized to be appropriated from the Fund not to exceed $20,000,000 for each fiscal year to carry out the purposes set forth in subsections (a)(3) and (b) for such fiscal year.
(B)
Of the amount authorized to be appropriated under subparagraph (A), not to exceed the following, shall be available to carry out the purposes set forth in subsection (a)(3):
(i) $14,855,000 for fiscal year 1991.
(ii) $15,598,000 for fiscal year 1992.
(3) At the end of each fiscal year, any unobligated amount in excess of $15,000,000 remaining in the Fund shall be deposited into the general fund of the Treasury of the United States.
(June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, § 613A, as added Pub. L. 98–573, title II, § 213(a)(11), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2986; amended Pub. L. 99–570, title I, § 1152(b)(2), title III, § 3142(a), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–12, 3207–93; Pub. L. 100–71, title I, § 101, July 11, 1987, 101 Stat. 438; Pub. L. 100–202, § 101(m) [title I, § 106], Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1329–390, 1329–397; Pub. L. 100–418, title I, § 1912, Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1320; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7364, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4475; Pub. L. 101–382, title I, § 121, Aug. 20, 1990, 104 Stat. 640; Pub. L. 101–508, title X, § 10012(a), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–390; Pub. L. 104–316, title I, § 110(a), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3832; Pub. L. 114–125, title VIII, § 802(d)(2), Feb. 24, 2016, 130 Stat. 210.)