United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: May 27, 2020

§ 1610.
Exceptions to the immunity from attachment or execution
(a)
The property in the United States of a foreign state, as defined in section 1603(a) of this chapter, used for a commercial activity in the United States, shall not be immune from attachment in aid of execution, or from execution, upon a judgment entered by a court of the United States or of a State after the effective date of this Act, if—
(1)
the foreign state has waived its immunity from attachment in aid of execution or from execution either explicitly or by implication, notwithstanding any withdrawal of the waiver the foreign state may purport to effect except in accordance with the terms of the waiver, or
(2)
the property is or was used for the commercial activity upon which the claim is based, or
(3)
the execution relates to a judgment establishing rights in property which has been taken in violation of international law or which has been exchanged for property taken in violation of international law, or
(4)
the execution relates to a judgment establishing rights in property—
(A)
which is acquired by succession or gift, or
(B)
which is immovable and situated in the United States: Provided, That such property is not used for purposes of maintaining a diplomatic or consular mission or the residence of the Chief of such mission, or
(5)
the property consists of any contractual obligation or any proceeds from such a contractual obligation to indemnify or hold harmless the foreign state or its employees under a policy of automobile or other liability or casualty insurance covering the claim which merged into the judgment, or
(6)
the judgment is based on an order confirming an arbitral award rendered against the foreign state, provided that attachment in aid of execution, or execution, would not be inconsistent with any provision in the arbitral agreement, or
(7)
the judgment relates to a claim for which the foreign state is not immune under section 1605A or section 1605(a)(7) (as such section was in effect on January 27, 2008), regardless of whether the property is or was involved with the act upon which the claim is based.
(b)
In addition to subsection (a), any property in the United States of an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state engaged in commercial activity in the United States shall not be immune from attachment in aid of execution, or from execution, upon a judgment entered by a court of the United States or of a State after the effective date of this Act, if—
(1)
the agency or instrumentality has waived its immunity from attachment in aid of execution or from execution either explicitly or implicitly, notwithstanding any withdrawal of the waiver the agency or instrumentality may purport to effect except in accordance with the terms of the waiver, or
(2)
the judgment relates to a claim for which the agency or instrumentality is not immune by virtue of section 1605(a)(2), (3), or (5) or 1605(b) of this chapter, regardless of whether the property is or was involved in the act upon which the claim is based, or
(3)
the judgment relates to a claim for which the agency or instrumentality is not immune by virtue of section 1605A of this chapter or section 1605(a)(7) of this chapter (as such section was in effect on January 27, 2008), regardless of whether the property is or was involved in the act upon which the claim is based.
(c)
No attachment or execution referred to in subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be permitted until the court has ordered such attachment and execution after having determined that a reasonable period of time has elapsed following the entry of judgment and the giving of any notice required under section 1608(e) of this chapter.
(d)
The property of a foreign state, as defined in section 1603(a) of this chapter, used for a commercial activity in the United States, shall not be immune from attachment prior to the entry of judgment in any action brought in a court of the United States or of a State, or prior to the elapse of the period of time provided in subsection (c) of this section, if—
(1)
the foreign state has explicitly waived its immunity from attachment prior to judgment, notwithstanding any withdrawal of the waiver the foreign state may purport to effect except in accordance with the terms of the waiver, and
(2)
the purpose of the attachment is to secure satisfaction of a judgment that has been or may ultimately be entered against the foreign state, and not to obtain jurisdiction.
(e)
The vessels of a foreign state shall not be immune from arrest in rem, interlocutory sale, and execution in actions brought to foreclose a preferred mortgage as provided in section 1605(d).
(f)
(1)
(A)
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including but not limited to section 208(f) of the Foreign Missions Act (22 U.S.C. 4308(f)), and except as provided in subparagraph (B), any property with respect to which financial transactions are prohibited or regulated pursuant to section 5(b) of the Trading with the Enemy Act (50 U.S.C. App. 5(b)),1
1
 See References in Text note below.
section 620(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2370(a)), sections 202 and 203 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701–1702), or any other proclamation, order, regulation, or license issued pursuant thereto, shall be subject to execution or attachment in aid of execution of any judgment relating to a claim for which a foreign state (including any agency or instrumentality or such state) claiming such property is not immune under section 1605(a)(7) (as in effect before the enactment of section 1605A) or section 1605A.
(B)
Subparagraph (A) shall not apply if, at the time the property is expropriated or seized by the foreign state, the property has been held in title by a natural person or, if held in trust, has been held for the benefit of a natural person or persons.
(2)
(A)
At the request of any party in whose favor a judgment has been issued with respect to a claim for which the foreign state is not immune under section 1605(a)(7) (as in effect before the enactment of section 1605A) or section 1605A, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of State should make every effort to fully, promptly, and effectively assist any judgment creditor or any court that has issued any such judgment in identifying, locating, and executing against the property of that foreign state or any agency or instrumentality of such state.
(B)
In providing such assistance, the Secretaries—
(i)
may provide such information to the court under seal; and
(ii)
should make every effort to provide the information in a manner sufficient to allow the court to direct the United States Marshall’s office to promptly and effectively execute against that property.
(3)
Waiver.—
The President may waive any provision of paragraph (1) in the interest of national security.
(g)
Property in Certain Actions.—
(1)
In general.—
Subject to paragraph (3), the property of a foreign state against which a judgment is entered under section 1605A, and the property of an agency or instrumentality of such a state, including property that is a separate juridical entity or is an interest held directly or indirectly in a separate juridical entity, is subject to attachment in aid of execution, and execution, upon that judgment as provided in this section, regardless of—
(A)
the level of economic control over the property by the government of the foreign state;
(B)
whether the profits of the property go to that government;
(C)
the degree to which officials of that government manage the property or otherwise control its daily affairs;
(D)
whether that government is the sole beneficiary in interest of the property; or
(E)
whether establishing the property as a separate entity would entitle the foreign state to benefits in United States courts while avoiding its obligations.
(2)
United states sovereign immunity inapplicable.—
Any property of a foreign state, or agency or instrumentality of a foreign state, to which paragraph (1) applies shall not be immune from attachment in aid of execution, or execution, upon a judgment entered under section 1605A because the property is regulated by the United States Government by reason of action taken against that foreign state under the Trading With the Enemy Act or the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
(3)
Third-party joint property holders.—
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to supersede the authority of a court to prevent appropriately the impairment of an interest held by a person who is not liable in the action giving rise to a judgment in property subject to attachment in aid of execution, or execution, upon such judgment.
(Added Pub. L. 94–583, §  4(a), Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2896; amended Pub. L. 100–640, § 2, Nov. 9, 1988, 102 Stat. 3333; Pub. L. 100–669, § 3, Nov. 16, 1988, 102 Stat. 3969; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, § 325(b)(9), Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5121; Pub. L. 104–132, title II, § 221(b), Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1242; Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, § 101(h) [title I, § 117(a)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–480, 2681–491; Pub. L. 106–386, div. C, § 2002(g)(1), formerly § 2002(f)(1), Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1543, renumbered § 2002(g)(1), Pub. L. 107–297, title II, § 201(c)(3), Nov. 26, 2002, 116 Stat. 2337; Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title X, § 1083(b)(3), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 341; Pub. L. 112–158, title V, § 502(e)(1), Aug. 10, 2012, 126 Stat. 1260.)
cite as: 28 USC 1610