19 U.S.C. § 1499 - Examination of merchandise

Cite as:19 U.S.C. § 1499
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-158 (08/14/2020)
 
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(a) Entry examination

(1) In general

Imported merchandise that is required by law or regulation to be inspected, examined, or appraised shall not be delivered from customs custody (except under such bond or other security as may be prescribed by the Secretary to assure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and instructions which the Secretary or the Customs Service is authorized to enforce) until the merchandise has been inspected, appraised, or examined and is reported by the Customs Service to have been truly and correctly invoiced and found to comply with the requirements of the laws of the United States.

(2) Examination

The Customs Service-

(A) shall designate the packages or quantities of merchandise covered by any invoice or entry which are to be opened and examined for the purpose of appraisement or otherwise;

(B) shall order such packages or quantities to be sent to such place as is designated by the Secretary by regulation for such purpose;

(C) may require such additional packages or quantities as the Secretary considers necessary for such purpose; and

(D) shall inspect a sufficient number of shipments, and shall examine a sufficient number of entries, to ensure compliance with the laws enforced by the Customs Service.

(3) Unspecified articles

If any package contains any article not specified in the invoice or entry and, in the opinion of the Customs Service, the article was omitted from the invoice or entry-

(A) with fraudulent intent on the part of the seller, shipper, owner, agent, importer of record, or entry filer, the contents of the entire package in which such article is found shall be subject to seizure; or

(B) without fraudulent intent, the value of the article shall be added to the entry and the duties, fees, and taxes thereon paid accordingly.

(4) Deficiency

If a deficiency is found in quantity, weight, or measure in the examination of any package, the person finding the deficiency shall make a report thereof to the Customs Service. The Customs Service shall make allowance for the deficiency in the liquidation of duties.

(5) Information required for release

If an examination is conducted, any information required for release shall be provided, either electronically or in paper form, to the Customs Service at the port of examination. The absence of such information does not limit the authority of the Customs Service to conduct an examination.

(b) Testing laboratories

(1) Accreditation of private testing laboratories

The Customs Service shall establish and implement a procedure, under regulations promulgated by the Secretary, for accrediting private laboratories within the United States which may be used to perform tests (that would otherwise be performed by Customs Service laboratories) to establish the characteristics, quantities, or composition of imported merchandise. Such regulations-

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