Whenever a customs officer shall be notified in writing of the existence of a lien
for freight, charges, or contribution in general average upon any imported merchandise
sent to the appraiser's store for examination, entered for warehousing or taken possession
of by him, he shall refuse to permit delivery thereof from public store or bonded
warehouse until proof shall be produced that the said lien has been satisfied or discharged. The rights of the United States shall not be prejudiced or affected by the filing
of such lien, nor shall the United States or its officers be liable for losses or
damages consequent upon such refusal to permit delivery. If merchandise, regarding which such notice of lien has been filed, shall be forfeited
or abandoned and sold, the freight, charges, or contribution in general average due
thereon shall be paid from the proceeds of such sale in the same manner as other lawful
charges and expenses are paid therefrom. The provisions of this section shall apply to licensed customs brokers who otherwise
possess a lien for the purposes stated above upon the merchandise under the statutes
or common law, or by order of any court of competent jurisdiction, of any State.
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