19 U.S.C. § 1308 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 19. Customs Duties § 1308. Prohibition on importation of dog and cat fur products
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In this section:
(1) Cat fur
The term “cat fur” means the pelt or skin of any animal of the species Felis catus.
(2) Interstate commerce
The term “interstate commerce” means the transportation for sale, trade, or use between any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and any place outside thereof.
(3) Customs laws
The term “customs laws of the United States” means any other law or regulation enforced or administered by the United States Customs Service.
(4) Designated authority
The term “designated authority” means the Secretary of the Treasury, with respect to the prohibitions under subsection (b)(1)(A) of this section, and the President (or the President's designee), with respect to the prohibitions under subsection (b)(1)(B) of this section.
(5) Dog fur
The term “dog fur” means the pelt or skin of any animal of the species Canis familiaris.
(6) Dog or cat fur product
The term “dog or cat fur product” means any item of merchandise which consists, or is composed in whole or in part, of any dog fur, cat fur, or both.
The term “person” includes any individual, partnership, corporation, association, organization, business trust, government entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
(8) United States
The term “United States” means the customs territory of the United States, as defined in general note 2 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.
(1) In general
It shall be unlawful for any person to--
(A) import into, or export from, the United States any dog or cat fur product; or
(B) introduce into interstate commerce, manufacture for introduction into interstate commerce, sell, trade, or advertise in interstate commerce, offer to sell, or transport or distribute in interstate commerce in the United States, any dog or cat fur product.
This subsection shall not apply to the importation, exportation, or transportation, for noncommercial purposes, of a personal pet that is deceased, including a pet preserved through taxidermy.
(c) Penalties and enforcement
(1) Civil penalties
(A) In general
Any person who violates any provision of this section or any regulation issued under this section may, in addition to any other civil or criminal penalty that may be imposed under Title 18 or any other provision of law, be assessed a civil penalty by the designated authority of not more than--
(i) $10,000 for each separate knowing and intentional violation;
(ii) $5,000 for each separate grossly negligent violation; or
(iii) $3,000 for each separate negligent violation.
The designated authority may prohibit a person from importing, exporting, transporting, distributing, manufacturing, or selling any fur product in the United States, if the designated authority finds that the person has engaged in a pattern or practice of actions that has resulted in a final administrative determination with respect to the assessment of civil penalties for knowing and intentional or grossly negligent violations of any provision of this section or any regulation issued under this section.
(C) Factors in assessing penalties
In determining the amount of civil penalties under this paragraph, the designated authority shall take into account the degree of culpability, any history of prior violations under this section, ability to pay, the seriousness of the violation, and such other matters as fairness may require.
No penalty may be assessed under this paragraph against a person unless the person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing with respect to such violation in accordance with section 554 of Title 5 .
Any dog or cat fur product manufactured, taken, possessed, sold, purchased, offered for sale or purchase, transported, delivered, received, carried, shipped, imported, or exported contrary to the provisions of this section or any regulation issued under this section shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States.
The Secretary of the Treasury shall enforce the provisions of this section with respect to the prohibitions under subsection (b)(1)(A) of this section, and the President shall enforce the provisions of this section with respect to the prohibitions under subsection (b)(1)(B) of this section.
Not later than 270 days after November 9, 2000, the designated authorities shall, after notice and opportunity for comment, issue regulations to carry out the provisions of this section. The regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury shall provide for a process by which testing laboratories, whether domestic or foreign, can qualify for certification by the United States Customs Service by demonstrating the reliability of the procedures used for determining the type of fur contained in articles intended for sale or consumption in interstate commerce. Use of a laboratory certified by the United States Customs Service to determine the nature of fur contained in an item to which subsection (b) of this section applies is not required to avoid liability under this section but may, in a case in which a person can establish that the goods imported were tested by such a laboratory and that the item was not found to be a dog or cat fur product, prove dispositive in determining whether that person exercised reasonable care for purposes of paragraph (6).
The designated authority shall pay a reward of not less than $500 to any person who furnishes information that establishes or leads to a civil penalty assessment, debarment, or forfeiture of property for any violation of this section or any regulation issued under this section.
(6) Affirmative defense
Any person accused of a violation under this section has a defense to any proceeding brought under this section on account of such violation if that person establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the person exercised reasonable care--
(A) in determining the nature of the products alleged to have resulted in such violation; and
(B) in ensuring that the products were accompanied by documentation, packaging, and labeling that were accurate as to the nature of the products.
(7) Coordination with other laws
Nothing in this section shall be construed as superseding or limiting in any manner the functions and responsibilities of the Secretary of the Treasury under the customs laws of the United States.
(d) Publication of names of certain violators
The designated authorities shall, at least once each year, publish in the Federal Register a list of the names of any producer, manufacturer, supplier, seller, importer, or exporter, whether or not located within the customs territory of the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, against whom a final administrative determination with respect to the assessment of a civil penalty for a knowing and intentional or a grossly negligent violation has been made under this section.
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