Customs officers may register the goods referred to in 4 and 5 of article 38
above or likely to belong to one of the categories of goods listed in these
same arrangements, and possibly the vehicles transporting them, in the premises
professionals or in any other place authorized by the service, at the expense of the owner,
recipient, the exporter or, failing that, any other person involved in the operation
import or export, for a period of ten days, renewable upon authorization of the
public prosecutor within a limit of twenty-one days in total, for verification purposes
which they can take or have samples taken for analysis. They
may, where appropriate, compel the carrier to go to an appropriate place.
Returned goods and vehicles are placed in the custody of the keeper or any other
no one at the place of the consignment.
Section 1: Statement by report of seizure
Paragraph 1: Persons called upon to carry out seizures, rights and
obligations of seizors.
- Violations of customs laws and regulations can be detected by a customs officer
or any other administration.
- Those who notice a customs offense have the right to seize any object liable to
confiscation, to withhold shipments and all other documents relating to seized items and to
proceed with the preventive retention of objects assigned to the security of penalties.
- They can only proceed with the capture of defendants in the event of flagrante delicto.
The public prosecutor is immediately informed.
The duration of the detention may not exceed twenty-four hours unless the same period is extended.
authorized by the public prosecutor.
During detention, the public prosecutor can go to the scene to check the
terms of the withholding and to obtain the minutes and registers provided for this purpose.
If he considers it necessary, he may appoint a doctor.
The agents mention, in the official report, the duration of the interrogations and the rests which
separated these interrogations, the day and the hour of the beginning and the end of the detention.
These details are also included in a special register kept in the customs premises.
When the detained persons are placed in police custody at the end of the detention, the duration of
this is charged to the duration of police custody.
Paragraph 2: General and compulsory formalities under penalty of nullity
1.a) As far as circumstances permit, the goods and means of transport seized shall be
taken and dropped off at the closest customs office or post to the place of seizure.
When there are several customs offices or posts in the same locality, the items seized
can be carried indifferently in any of them.
- b) When they cannot be taken immediately to the office or post or when there is no
customs office or post in the locality, the seized objects can be entrusted to the custody of the
accused or a third party at the scene of the seizure or in another locality.
- The agents who have noticed an infringement write the report without entertaining other acts
and at the latest immediately after the transport and deposit of the seized objects.
3.a) The report can be drawn up at the place of deposit of the seized objects or at the place of the finding
of the offense.
It can also be drawn up in the police station, at the headquarters of the gendarmerie brigade, at the
office of a finance official or local town hall.
- b) In the event of a seizure in a house, the official report may be validly drawn up there.
The minutes state the date and cause of the seizure; the statement that was made to
warned; the name, capacity and residence of the seizors and of the person responsible for the proceedings; the
nature of the objects seized and their quantity; the presence of the accused in their description or the summons
who was made to attend; the name and capacity of the custodian; the place where the
minutes and the time of its closure.
- When the seized goods are not prohibited, a release of the means of
transport under solvent deposit or under consignment of the value.
- This offer, as well as the response, are mentioned in the minutes.
- The release of the means of transport is granted without deposit or deposit to the owner of the
in good faith, when he has entered into the transport, rental or leasing contract binding him to the
offender in accordance with the laws and regulations in force and according to the customs of the profession.
However, this release is subject to reimbursement of any costs incurred by
the customs service to ensure the custody and conservation of the means of transport seized.
- If the accused is present, the report states that it was read to him, that he was
asked to sign it and he immediately received a copy.
- When the accused is absent, the copy is displayed within twenty-four hours at the door of the
customs office or post, or at the town hall where the report was written if it does not exist in
this place neither office nor customs post.
Paragraph 3: Formalities relating to some specific seizures
- – Seizures relating to forgery and alteration of shipments.
- If the reason for the seizure relates to the forgery or alteration of the shipments, the report shall state the
kind of fake, tampering or overloading.
- The aforementioned consignments, signed and initialed ne varietur by the seizors, are annexed to the
report containing the summons to the accused to sign them and his response.
- – Home seizures.
- In the event of a seizure at home, non-prohibited goods are not moved, subject to
that the accused gives solvent surety for their value. If the accused does not provide a deposit, or if he
are prohibited objects, the goods are transported to the next office or entrusted to a
third-party guardian constituted either at the scene of the seizure or in another locality.
- The judicial police officer, intervening under the conditions provided for in article 64 above, must
assist in the drafting of the minutes; in the event of refusal, it suffices, for the regularity of the transactions,
that the minutes contain the mention of the requisition and the refusal.
- – Seizures on ships and decked boats.
With regard to seizures made on ships and decked boats, when the unloading cannot take place
Immediately, the arresters affix the seals to the hatches and hatches of the buildings. The
report, which is drawn up as the unloading progresses, mentions the number,
marks and numbers of bales, crates and barrels. The detailed description is only made
office, in the presence of the accused or after being summoned to attend; he is given a copy at each
- – Entries outside the radius.
- Outside the radius, the provisions of the preceding articles are applicable to infringements
recorded in offices, warehouses and other places subject to surveillance by the customs service.
- Seizures can also be made anywhere in the case of police pursuit,
flagrant violation, violation of article 215 above or unexpected discovery of
goods whose fraudulent origin is evident from the declarations of their holder or
of supporting documents found in its possession.
- In the event of seizure after police prosecution, the report must record:
- a) in the case of goods subject to the formality of the gangway, that the said goods have
been followed without interruption from their crossing of the inner limit of the shelf to the
at the time of their seizure and that they did not have the necessary shipment to transport them to
the customs department;
- b) in the case of other goods, that said goods have been monitored without interruption
from their crossing of the border until the moment of their seizure.
Paragraph 4: Rules to be observed after the drafting of the report
- The reports recording customs offenses are submitted to the public prosecutor and
the captured defendants are brought before this magistrate.
- To this end, the civil and military authorities are required to lend a hand to the agents of the
customs upon first requisition.
Section 2: Observation by official report.
- The results of the checks carried out under the conditions provided for in Article 65 above and, of a
In general, those of the inquiries and interrogations carried out by customs officers are
recorded in the report.
- These reports state the date and place of the checks and inquiries carried out, the nature
of the findings and information gathered, the seizure of documents, if applicable, as well as
as the names, capacity and administrative residence of the enforcement officers.
They also indicate that those in whom the investigation or control was carried out were informed of
the date and place of the drafting of this report and that they were summoned to attend this
writing ; if these people are present at the editorial office, they specify that it has been read to them
and that they were asked to sign it.
Section 3: Provisions common to seizure reports and to
Paragraph 1: Stamp and registration.
The customs reports as well as the tenders and transactions in lieu thereof are
exempt from stamp and registration formalities.
Paragraph 2: Evidence of regular reports and channels
open to defendants against this legal faith.
- Customs reports drawn up by two customs officers or any other
administration shall be authentic until registration of false material findings they relate.
- They are only authentic until proof to the contrary of the accuracy and sincerity of the confession and
statements they report.
- Customs reports drawn up by a single agent are binding until proven otherwise.
- In the matter of infringements noted by official report following an inspection
of writings, proof to the contrary can only be produced by means of documents of a certain date
prior to that of the investigation carried out by the enforcement officers.
- The courts may not admit against the customs reports other nullities than
those resulting from the omission of the formalities prescribed by articles 323-1, 324 to 332 and 334
- However, any seizure of goods not prohibited on importation or
export or not heavily taxed that would have passed a customs office on the facade
to which the table provided for in article 48 above has not been affixed.
- Anyone wishing to register a false statement against a report is required to make a declaration thereof in writing,
in person or by a special attorney before a notary, at the latest at the hearing
indicated by the summons to appear before the court which is to hear the offense.
- He must, within the following three days, file the pleas of forgery and forgery at the registry of the said court.
the names and qualities of the witnesses he wishes to call; all under penalty of forfeiture of
- This declaration is received and signed by the judge and the clerk, in the event that the declarant does not know or
write or sign.
- In the case of an entry of forgery against a report noting the fraud, if the entry
is made within the time limit and in the form prescribed by the preceding article and assuming that the
means of forgery, if proven, destroy the existence of fraud against the registrant, the
public prosecutor takes the appropriate steps to have a decision taken without delay.
- It may be suspended, in accordance with Article 646 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the judgment of
the infringement until after the judgment of the registration of forgery; in this case, the court seised of
the offense provisionally orders the sale of the decaying goods and
animals that will have been used for transport.
When a false entry has not been made within the time limit and in accordance with the forms determined by
Article 339 above, it is, without any consideration, proceeded to the investigation and the judgment of
- The customs reports, when they are authentic until registration of forgery, are valid as
obtain, in accordance with common law, the authorization to take any precautionary measures
useful against persons criminally or civilly responsible, in order to guarantee the
customs debts of any kind resulting from the said reports.
- The judge competent to hear the procedure, including requests for validity,
release, reduction or confinement of seizures is the magistrate of the place of drafting of the
Chapter II: Lawsuits and recovery
Section 1: General provisions.
All offenses and contraventions provided for by customs laws can be prosecuted and proven.
by all legal channels even though no seizure could have been made within the radius of
customs or outside this radius or that the goods for which a declaration has been made have not been
gave rise to no observations.
For this purpose, it may be validly mentioned, as proof, information, certificates,
minutes and other documents supplied or drawn up by the authorities of foreign countries.
- Action for the enforcement of sentences is exercised by the public prosecutor.
- The action for the application of fiscal sanctions is exercised by the customs administration;the
public prosecutor may exercise it incidentally to public action.
- In the procedures which customs officials have been seized of in application of I and II of article
28-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the public prosecutor exercises the action for the application of
With the authorization of the public prosecutor, this action can be exercised by the customs administration.
and, in this case, article 350 of this code is applicable.
In these same procedures, the customs administration exercises the action for payment of duties and
compromised or evaded taxes, provided for in article 377 bis. To this end, it is informed of the date of
the hearing by the competent judicial authority.
Whether it is a civil or commercial proceeding or information, even terminated by a
non-place, the judicial authority must inform the customs service of any information
that it can collect such as to give rise to the presumption of fraud committed in customs matters or
any maneuver having for object or having resulted in infringing the provisions
either legislative or regulatory relating to the application of the customs code.
When the perpetrator of a customs offense dies before the intervention of a judgment
definitive or of a transaction, the Administration is entitled to bring an action against the succession
tending to have the district court order the confiscation of the objects liable to this
sanction or, if these could not be seized, the order to pay a sum equal to the
value of the said objects and calculated on the basis of the domestic market price at the time when the fraud was
Section 2: Collection.
Debts of any kind recorded and recovered by the customs administration are subject to
a notice of collection subject, where appropriate, to referral to the judicial judge.
The notice of collection is signed and made enforceable by the regional customs director
or the customs accountant and, under the authority and responsibility of the latter, by an officer
having at least the rank of controller.
The notice of collection indicates the event giving rise to the debt as well as its nature,
amount and the elements of its liquidation. A copy is notified to the taxpayer.
The remedies provided for in Articles 346 and 347 do not suspend the execution of the notice of
- – When the taxpayer has applied a tax text according to the interpretation that the administration had
made known by its instructions or circulars published and which it had not reported to the date
transactions constituting the operative event, it cannot establish by way of notice of
recovery and recover the duties and taxes collected according to the terms of this code, in
supporting a different interpretation.
- – When the administration has formally taken a position on the assessment of a factual situation
with regard to a tax text, it cannot establish by means of a recovery notice and
recover the duties and taxes collected according to the terms of this code by taking a position
III. – The granting of the release of the goods mentioned in articles 73 and 74 of regulation no.
2913/92 of the Council of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community customs code does not constitute
not a position taken within the meaning of II.
- – The guarantees provided for in this article are not applicable to the customs debt defined in
9), 10) and 11) of Article 4 of the aforementioned regulation establishing the Community Customs Code.
Any dispute of the debt must be addressed to the authority which signed the notice of enforcement.
recovery within three years of its notification, without prejudice to the time limits provided, in
on remission of duties, by Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992,
establishing the community customs code.
The regional customs director decides on the dispute within six months from
its reception. In the event of a referral to the conciliation and customs expertise commission, this period
starts from the day of notification to the parties of the opinion delivered by the committee. In case of introduction
a request for remission based on the Community customs code and which falls within the
powers of the Commission of the European Communities, this period starts from the day of
notification to the customs administration of its decision.
Within two months of receiving the response from the Regional Customs Director or,
in the absence of a response, at the expiration of the six-month period provided for in the preceding article, the taxpayer may
seize the district court.
If the taxpayer so requests in his dispute, he may be authorized to defer the
payment of the debt until the outcome of the dispute.
The payment deferral is granted to the taxpayer if the dispute is accompanied by guarantees
intended to ensure the recovery of the contested debt. These guarantees take the form of a
deposit or consignment. They can also be constituted by transferable securities,
by mortgage allocations, by pledges of goodwill. In the absence of
guarantees or if the customs accountant responsible for collection considers that he cannot accept the
guarantees offered by the taxpayer, he asks him, within one month, to constitute
new guarantees. At the end of this period, the customs accountant can take measures
conservatory for the contested claim, notwithstanding any possible dispute relating to the
guarantees, formulated in accordance with Article 349.
Guarantees may not be required when they are of a nature, due to the situation of the
accountable, to cause serious economic or social difficulties.
In the event that the suspension of payment is granted or if protective measures are taken, the liability
of the debt and the limitation period for the recovery action are suspended until a
final decision has been taken on the dispute of the debt either by the administrative authority
designated in Article 346, or by the competent court.
If the contestation of the debt results in the annulment of the collection notice, the costs
caused by the guarantee are reimbursed to the taxpayer.
The provisions of this article shall not preclude the regional director of customs or
the customs accountant request precautionary measures from the competent judge, from the
recognition of the debt.
Any challenge to the decisions of the customs accountant relating to the guarantees required from the
debtor may be brought, within fifteen days of notification of the response
the customs accountant or the expiry of the time limit for responding, before the judge
instance, ruling in summary proceedings. The judge, seized by simple written request, rules within one
month. Within a period of fifteen days following the judge’s decision or the expiry of the period left for this
last to rule, the taxpayer and the customs accountant can appeal to the court
When sufficient guarantees have not been provided and the customs accountant has put in
instead of precautionary measures, the person liable may, by simple written request, ask the judge
instance, ruling in summary proceedings, to pronounce within one month the limitation or abandonment of these
measures. The time limits for referral to the magistrate and the appeal judge are the same as those defined
in the previous paragraph.
The appeals directed against the regularity of the precautionary measures fall within the jurisdiction of the execution judge,
under the conditions of common law.
As regards the recovery and guarantee of debts recovered by the administration of
customs, the customs accountant may delegate his signature to the agents under his authority,
having at least the rank of controller, for the exercise of the powers he derives from Articles 348, 349
and 387 bis of the law n ° 66-1007 of December 28, 1966 relating to the publication of the privilege of the Treasury in
tax matters, the provisions of the Commercial Code relating to business difficulties and
the sale of the business, of the law n ° 91-650 of July 9, 1991 reforming the procedures
civil execution, as well as for the registration of mortgages and other securities.
Section 3: Extinction of the rights of prosecution and repression
Paragraph 1: Right of transaction.
The customs administration is authorized to deal with people prosecuted for offenses
customs or for breach of laws and regulations relating to financial relations
with foreigners subject to the application of the following provisions:
- a) when no legal action is taken, transactions exceeding the limits of jurisdiction
external services of the customs administration must be submitted for opinion to the committee of the
tax, customs and exchange disputes provided for in article 460 of this code.
- b) after initiation by the customs administration or the public prosecutor of an action
judicial authority, the customs administration can only compromise if the judicial authority accepts the principle
of a transaction.
The agreement in principle is given by the public prosecutor when the offense is punishable by both
fiscal sanctions and penalties, by the president of the court seized, when the offense is
only liable to tax penalties.
- c) after final judgment, the fiscal sanctions pronounced by the courts cannot
the transaction object.
Paragraph 2: Limitation of action.
The action of the customs administration in repression of customs offenses is prescribed in the
same deadlines and under the same conditions as public action in matters of legal offenses
Paragraph 3: Prescription of the specific rights of the administration
- – Prescription against taxpayers.
- No person is admissible to form, against the customs administration, requests for
restitution of rights and goods and payments of rent, three years after the time that the
claimants give to payments of rights, deposits of goods and due dates of rents, to
the exclusion of requests made in application of articles 236 to 239 of the customs code
The complaint mentioned in the previous paragraph must be presented to the regional customs director.
the place of payment or the place where the goods are located. Regional Customs Director
rule on this request within four months of receipt.
The action against the decision of the administration, taken following this complaint, must be
brought before the court designated in article 358 of this code, within three months from
notification of the administration’s decision or, in the absence of a response, at the expiration of the
four months provided for in the previous paragraph.
2.The action against a decision of the administration, taken following a request for postponement or
reimbursement based on Articles 236 to 239 of the Community Customs Code, must be
presented before the court designated in article 358 of this code within three months from
notification of the administration’s decision or, in the absence of a response, at the expiration of the
four months provided for by Decree No. 2001-908 of October 3, 2001 taken for the application of the second
paragraph of 2 of Article 6 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing
the community customs code or the additional time limit set by the administration
in accordance with 2 of article 6 of the same regulation. The three-month period is suspended in the event of
referral to the conciliation and customs expertise commission under the conditions set out in
article 450 of this code.
When a person has unduly paid the national duties and taxes collected according to the
procedures of this code, it can obtain a refund, unless the duties and taxes
have been passed on to the buyer.
When the lack of validity of a text on which the collection of a tax collected by the agents of
the General Directorate of Customs and Indirect Duties was revealed by a decision
jurisdictional, the action for restitution mentioned in article 352 cannot bring, without prejudice to
provisions of article 352 bis, only for the period after January 1 of the third year
preceding the one during which this decision was made.
The provisions of the previous paragraph are applicable to disputes arising from complaints
submitted after November 20, 1991.
The administration is discharged towards the taxpayers, three years after each expired year, of the
keep records of receipts and others for the said year, without being able to be required to represent them,
if there were still remaining instances for the instructions and judgments of which the aforesaid
registers and documents were necessary.
- – Prescription against the administration.
The right to take over the administration is exercised for a period of three years, starting from the
generator, with the exception of the rights communicated in application of 3 of article 221 of the
The limitation period is interrupted by the notification of a customs report.
- – Cases where short-term prescriptions do not take place.
- The requirements referred to in 1 of article 352 and articles 353 and 354 above do not apply.
and become in their thirties when there is, before the scheduled terms, a request made in court,
condemnation, promise, convention or particular and special obligation relating to the object which is
- The same applies to the prescription referred to in article 354 when it is by an act
fraudulent by the taxpayer that the administration was unaware of the existence of the event giving rise to its right and
could not exercise the action which it had jurisdiction to continue its execution.
- From the notification of the notice of collection, the customs administration
has four years to collect the debt.
Chapter III: Procedure before the courts
Section 1: Courts competent in customs matters
Paragraph 1: Competence “ratione materiae”.
Police courts deal with customs contraventions and all matters
customs raised by way of exception.
- The correctional courts hear all customs offenses and all questions
customs raised by way of exception.
- They are similarly aware of related, incidental or related customs contraventions
to a customs or common law offense.
The district courts hear disputes concerning the payment, the guarantee or the
reimbursement of debts of all kinds recovered by the customs and
other customs matters not falling within the competence of the criminal courts.
Paragraph 2: Competence “ratione loci”.
- Instances resulting from customs offenses recorded in the report of seizure are entered
before the court in whose jurisdiction the customs office closest to the place of
finding of the offense.
- Disputes relating to the debt, to the claims made in application of article 352 and those
relating to warranty decisions are brought before the district court in the jurisdiction
of which is located the customs office or regional customs directorate where the claim was
- The ordinary rules of jurisdiction in force in the territory are applicable to other
Section 2: Procedure before civil courts
Paragraph 3: Appeal of judgments rendered by the magistrates.
All judgments rendered by magistrates in customs matters are liable, whatever
either the importance of the dispute, of appeal to the court of appeal, in accordance with the rules of the code of
Paragraph 4: Notification of judgments and other acts of
- Notifications to the customs administration are made to the agent representing it.
- Notifications to the other party are made in accordance with the rules of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Section 3: Procedure before criminal courts.
Common law provisions on the investigation of flagrante delicto before the courts
corrections are applicable in the case provided for by article 333 above.
The rules of procedure in force in the territory are applicable to summonses, judgments,
oppositions and appeals.
Section 4: Appeal on points of law.
The rules in force in the territory concerning cassation proceedings in civil matters and
criminal matters are applicable to customs cases.
Section 5: Miscellaneous provisions
Paragraph 1: Rules of procedure common to all instances
- – Instruction and costs.
In first instance and on appeal, the instruction is oral on simple memory and without charge of
justice to be repeated on both sides.
- – Achievements.
Customs officers can carry out any exploits and other legal acts in customs matters.
which bailiffs are accustomed to doing; they can, however, use such a bailiff as they see fit.
will appear in particular for sales of seized, confiscated or abandoned objects.
Paragraph 2: Mitigating circumstances, special provisions,
- If it finds the mitigating circumstances, the court may:
- a) release offenders from confiscation of means of transport;these provisions are not
however not applicable in cases where the contraband or assimilated acts were committed by
concealment in specially equipped hiding places or in cavities or empty spaces which
are not normally intended for the accommodation of goods;
- b) release offenders from the confiscation of objects used to conceal the fraud;
- c) reduce the amount of sums in lieu of confiscation of fraudulent goods until
third of the value of these goods;
- d) reduce the amount of tax fines to a third of their minimum amount, subject to the
provisions of article 437 below;
- e) with regard to the fiscal penalties referred to in c and d above, limit or remove the
solidarity of certain convicts.
If the mitigating circumstances are only retained with regard to certain co-defendants for the same
fact of fraud, the court first pronounces the fiscal penalties to which the convicts do not
not benefiting from mitigating circumstances will be jointly and severally liable. He can then, in what
concerns sums in lieu of confiscation and tax fines, limit the scope of the
solidarity with people benefiting from mitigating circumstances.
If it accepts the mitigating circumstances with regard to an accused, the court may: exempt the
warned of the penal sanctions provided for by this code, order that the execution of
these, decide that the conviction is not mentioned in bulletin n ° 2 of the criminal record.
- (paragraph repealed).
- When the seized goods are not explicitly prohibited under the
customs regulations, the courts can release them before deciding definitively
the whole, with a solvent deposit or deposit of the value.
- The courts may not exempt the party liable from the payment of sums defrauded or unduly
obtained or from the confiscation of goods dangerous to health or morals and
public safety, counterfeit goods, as well as those subject to
- If the offender of the provisions of articles 410, 411, 412, 414 of this code commits in
for the five years following a transaction or a conviction that has become final, a new
offense falling under the penalties provided for in the aforementioned articles, the maximum rate of
penalties incurred is doubled.
- This provision is not applicable, except in the case of personal fault, to those who profess
to carry out customs formalities for others.
Paragraph 3: Provisions specific to the resulting instances
- – Proof of non-contravention.
In any action on a seizure, proof of non-infringement is the responsibility of the seized.
- – Action in warranty.
- Confiscation of seized goods can be prosecuted against drivers or
declarants without the customs administration being required to question the owners
even so they would be indicated to him.
- However, if the owners intervened or were called in guarantee by those on whom
the seizures have been made, the courts will rule, as well as of law, on the interventions or on the
- – Confiscation of objects seized from unknown persons and minutes.
- The customs administration may ask the district court on simple request for the
confiscation in kind of objects seized from strangers or from individuals who did not
subject to prosecution because of the insignificance of the fraud.
- The said request shall be adjudicated by a single order, even if the request relates to
several seizures made separately.
- – Claiming the seized objects.
- The objects seized or confiscated cannot be claimed by the owners, nor the price, which he
either recorded or not, claimed by even privileged creditors, except their recourse against the
perpetrators of the fraud.
- The deadlines for appeal, third party opposition and sale have expired, all repetitions and actions are not
- – False statements.
Subject to the provisions of 1 and 2 of article 100 above, the truth or falsity of
statements must be judged on what was first said.
- – Payment of fraudulent or improperly obtained sums.
- In addition to tax penalties, the courts order the payment of defrauded sums or
- Even when it does not pronounce any conviction, the criminal court is competent
to decide on the provisions of 4 of article 369 of this code.
Chapter IV: Execution of judgments, notices of enforcement
recovery and customs obligations
Section 1: Security interests guaranteeing performance
Paragraph 1: Right of retention.
In all cases of flagrant customs violation, the means of transport and
disputed goods not liable to confiscation may, as security against the penalties incurred,
be withheld until a security deposit or deposit of the amount of said penalties is paid.
Paragraph 2: Privileges and mortgages, subrogation.
- The customs administration has, for duties, confiscation, fine and restitution, privilege and
preference to all creditors over the furniture and household effects of taxpayers, with the exception of
legal costs and other privileged costs, of what is due for six months’ rent only, and except
also the claim duly made by the owners of the goods in kind which are
- The administration has similarly mortgage on the buildings of the taxpayers but for the rights
- The notice of collection entails mortgage in the same manner and to the same
conditions that the convictions emanating from the judicial authority.
- Give rise to publicity, under the conditions provided for in 2 to 5, the sums remaining due as
privileged by traders and legal persons governed by private law, even non-traders, at
title to the claims listed in 1 of article 379.
- The advertisement is carried out at the behest of the administration responsible for collection.
- Registration may only be required, depending on the nature of the claim, from the date on which a
enforceable title has been issued.
- Advertising is compulsory when the sums due, for the nine months following the issue
an enforceable title, by a person liable to the same accounting position or similar service and
likely to be registered remain unpaid and exceed a threshold fixed by decree.
The sums referred to in the previous paragraph are not subject to publicity when the debtor
adheres to a phased debt relief plan. As soon as the plan is denounced, the accountant
public must proceed with publication within two months.
- In the event of payment with subrogation, the person subrogated to Treasury rights is bound by the obligations and
formalities imposed by this article on the administration, whatever the amount of the
If the payment by the subrogatee takes place without the issuance of an enforceable title provided for in 3, the registration shall not
may be required at least six months after payment.
- The costs of registering the privilege are the responsibility of the Treasury.
- In the event of safeguard, reorganization or judicial liquidation of the person liable for payment or of a third party liable
legally for the payment of the sums referred to in 1, the Treasury or its subrogate cannot exercise its
privilege for debts which were subject to compulsory disclosure provided for in 1 to 5 and
whose registration has not been duly required against the taxpayer.
- Registrations made in application of 1 to 5 are prescribed by four years, except renewal.
- The competent accountant requests, within one month, the total cancellation of the registration.
become irrelevant once the debtor has discharged his debt.
- The modalities of application of this article and in particular the forms and deadlines for registrations
and their radiation are fixed by a decree in the Council of State.
Producers, importers, refiners, distributors, wholesalers of mineral oils,
derivatives and residues, as well as garage operators and fuel retailers benefit,
for the recovery of the part of their debt representing the customs duties and taxes of any
nature encumbering the products referred to in Table B of Article 265, of a lien on movable property
of their debtor who ranks immediately after that granted by law to the administration of
customs, and before that which is based on collateral.
- Any natural or legal person who has paid on behalf of a third party rights,
fines, taxes of any kind collected by customs are subrogated to the lien
customs, regardless of the recovery methods observed by it with regard to this
- However, this subrogation may in no case be opposed to the administrations of the State.
Paragraph 3: Debt collection within the framework of the
The administration may request Member States of the European Community and is bound by their
assist in recovery and exchange of information relating to debts
import and export duties, taxes and collections of any kind, excise duties
on the energy products mentioned in Articles 265, 266 quinquies and 266 quinquies B, as well as
that interest, penalties, administrative fines and costs relating to these debts, excluding
any penal sanction.
The recovery of debts referred to in this article is entrusted to customs accountants,
the request of a requesting Member State of the European Community.
The competent administration responds to a State’s request for assistance in recovery
member of the European Community when:
1 ° This request contains a declaration certifying that the debt or the deed of collection does not
are not contested in the requesting State and that the appropriate recovery procedures put in place
work in that State cannot result in full payment of the claim;
2 ° The total amount of the claim or claims payable by the same person is greater than or
equal to 1500 euros.
It is not required to grant assistance to recover the debt of a Member State when the
initial request concerns claims based on an enforcement title established more than five years ago
years. However, if the claim or the security in question is the subject of a dispute, the five-year period
runs from the date on which a final ruling on the State debt or title has been issued
As soon as it is informed by the requesting Member State or by the party responsible for filing a dispute
of the debt, the competent administration shall suspend the recovery of the debt until the
notification of the decision of the competent body of the requesting State, unless the latter refers it to a
express request for continuation of the recovery procedure accompanied by a declaration certifying
that its national law allows it to recover the contested debt.
Debt collection documents sent by the requesting Member State are directly recognized as
enforceable titles. They are notified to the debtor.
These receivables are recovered in accordance with the procedures and security applicable in matters of credit rights.
customs, subject to the following exceptions:
1 ° They do not benefit from the privilege provided for in article 379;
2 ° The questions relating to the limitation period of the recovery action are governed by the legislation
of the requesting Member State. The interruptive or suspensive nature of the acts carried out by the
public accountant for the recovery of debts from the requesting Member State is assessed according to
the legislation of that state.
At the request of the requesting Member State, the accountant takes all necessary protective measures
to guarantee the recovery of the debt of that State.
The financial administrations communicate to the administrations of the other Member States, at their
request, all information useful for the recovery of the debt, with the exception of those which,
on the basis of the legislation in force, could not be obtained for the recovery of their
own receivables of the same nature.
They cannot provide information which would reveal a trade, industrial or trade secret.
professional, or whose communication would be likely to endanger the safety or order
Section 2: Methods of execution
Paragraph 1: General rules.
- The execution of judgments and rulings in customs matters can take place by any means
- The judgments and judgments condemning an offense against customs laws are, moreover,
executed by corps.
- (paragraph repealed).
- When an offender dies before having settled the fines,
confiscations and other financial sentences pronounced against him by final judgment, or
stipulated in the transactions or contentious bids accepted by him, the collection may
to be sued against the succession by all legal means, except by body.
- Fines and customs confiscations, regardless of the court which pronounced them, shall be
prescribe within the same time limits as common law correctional penalties and within the
same conditions as damages.
- In the event of a conviction for a financial penalty provided for in this code, when
the administration has information allowing it to be presumed that the convicted person has organized his
insolvency, it can ask the judge to condemn the joint payment of the sums due
the people who will have participated in the organization of this insolvency.
Paragraph 2: Special rights reserved for customs.
The administration is authorized to make no payment under the judgments challenged by the
means of opposition, appeal or cassation, unless previously those for the benefit of which the aforesaid
judgments have been rendered have not given good and sufficient surety for security of the sums to them
When the release of the objects seized for infringement of the laws whose execution is entrusted to
the customs administration is granted by judgments against which an appeal is
introduced, it is remitted to those for whose benefit the said judgments have been rendered only under
good and sufficient surety for their value. Release can never be granted for
goods whose entry is prohibited.
All seizures of the proceeds of rights, made in the hands of the receivers or in those of the taxpayers
towards the administration, are null and of no effect; notwithstanding the said seizures, the taxpayers are
forced to pay the sums owed by them.
In the case of affixing of seals on the accounts and papers of the accountants, the receipts registers
and others from the current year should not be sealed. Said registers are
only stopped and initialed by the judge, who gives them to the agent in charge of the interim recipe,
which remains the guarantor as the depositary of justice, and it is mentioned in the
report of affixing the seals.
In the event of an indictment of the charge of the offense provided for in article 415 and in order to guarantee the payment of
incurred fines, court costs and confiscation, the president of the high court
authority may order, at the request of the customs administration and after consulting the public prosecutor
the Republic, at the expense of the Treasury and in accordance with the terms provided for by the procedural code
civil, precautionary measures on the property of the accused person.
The conviction constitutes validation of the protective seizures and allows the definitive registration of
The decision of dismissal, acquittal or acquittal automatically takes precedence, at the expense of the Treasury,
lifting of the measures ordered. It is the same in the event of termination of the public action.
- When the offenses referred to in Articles 412, 1 ° to 5 °, 414 and 459 have been regularly
ascertained by an official authorized for this purpose, the president of the tribunal de grande instance may
order, at the request of the customs administration, in an emergency, in view of the importance of
sums to be guaranteed, and in order to guarantee the payment of duties and taxes, fines and confiscations,
all useful precautionary measures, at the expense of the Treasury and in accordance with the procedures provided for in
Code of Civil Procedure, on the property of the person responsible for the offense.
- The order of the president of the tribunal de grande instance is enforceable notwithstanding opposition or
However, the provisional measures may be released if the interested party provides a bond.
- Requests for the validity or release of provisional measures fall within the competence of the
president of the tribunal de grande instance.
The condemnation or acceptance of a transaction by the interested party constitutes validation of the seizures
conservatories and definitive registration of sureties.
The decision of dismissal, acquittal or acquittal automatically takes precedence, at the expense of the Treasury,
lifting of the measures ordered. It is the same in the event of termination of the public action.
All depositaries and debtors of funds coming from the head of the taxpayers and assigned to the privilege
referred to in article 379-1 above are required, upon request, to pay in receipt of
taxpayers and on the amount of funds they owe or are in their hands up to
up to all or part of the sums owed by them.
The receipts from the accountants responsible for the recovery of the above-mentioned privileged debts for the
sums legitimately owed are allocated to them in account.
The provisions of this article also apply to managers, directors, directors
or liquidators of companies for the debts of these companies constituting a customs claim
Paragraph 3: Anticipated exercise of judicial constraint.
By express decision of the court, the one who is convicted of a customs offense or an offense
in matters of indirect contributions may, notwithstanding an appeal or cassation appeal, be maintained
in detention until he has paid the amount of the fiscal penalties imposed on him;
except in the case of drug trafficking, the duration of the detention accomplished under these conditions at
count of the conviction is deducted from that of the judicial constraint pronounced by the court
and may not exceed the minimum provided for by the Code of Criminal Procedure for a conviction
pecuniary amount of the same amount as that of the imposed fiscal penalties.
Paragraph 4: Disposal and destruction of seized goods
for violation of customs laws
- – Sale before judgment of perishable goods and means
- In the event of seizure of means of transport for which the deposit has been offered by
minutes and will not have been accepted by the party as well as in the event of seizure of objects that do not
can be stored without running the risk of deterioration, it will be, at the behest of
customs administration and by permission of the nearest magistrate or judge
instruction, proceeded to the sale by auction of the seized objects.
- The ordinance on the permit to sell will be notified within one day to the opposing party,
in accordance with the provisions of article 362-2 above, with a declaration that it will be
immediately proceeded with the sale, both in the absence and in his presence,
- The order of the magistrate or the investigating judge will be executed notwithstanding opposition or
- The proceeds of the sale will be deposited in the customs office to be disposed of as it will be.
finally ruled by the court responsible for ruling on the seizure.
- – Destruction before judgment of certain categories of
- In the event of seizure of goods:
– classified by law as dangerous or harmful, or whose manufacture, trade or
detention is unlawful;
– as well as goods intended for human or animal consumption but which cannot be
sold under section 389 because they are unfit for consumption, or which do not
can be stored without risk of deterioration;
it is, at the behest of the customs administration, subject to a prior levy
samples in accordance with the procedures set by decree of the Council of State, and by virtue of the authorization of the
magistrate competent in application of article 357 bis, or the investigating judge, proceeded to the
destruction of seized items.
- The order authorizing destruction is notified to the other party in accordance with the
provisions of 2 of article 362, with a declaration that the
destruction, both in his absence and in his presence.
- The order of the magistrate or the investigating judge is executed notwithstanding opposition or
call. The destruction is recorded in a report.
- – Alienation of goods confiscated or abandoned by
- Confiscated or abandoned objects are alienated by the customs service under the conditions
fixed by order of the Minister of the Economy and Finance when the confiscation judgment is
become res judicata, or, in the event of default judgment, when the provisional execution has
been ordered by the confiscation judgment, or after ratification of the abandonment granted by
- However, judgments and orders confiscating goods seized from
individuals unknown, and by them abandoned and unclaimed, are not executed until a month later
their display both at the door of the office and that of the audience of the trial judge; after this time,
no request for repetition is admissible.
Section 3: Right of delivery.
- To take into account the resources and charges of debtors or other circumstances
particular with regard to those who profess to carry out for others the formalities of
customs, total or partial remissions of tax sanctions pronounced by the courts may
be granted by the customs administration.
- The requests for remission are examined by the customs administration and submitted to the president.
of the court which pronounced the sentence.
- The postponement can only be granted after the assent of the president of the court.
Section 4: Distribution of the proceeds from fines and confiscations.
- The share allocated to the Treasury in the proceeds from fines and confiscations resulting from
monitored at the request of the customs administration is 40% of the net proceeds of seizures.
- The conditions under which the surplus is distributed are determined by orders of the Minister of
the economy and finances which, in the event of limitation of the sums due to the beneficiaries, are
applicable to the distribution of products not distributed on the date of publication of the said decrees in
Chapter V: Responsibility and solidarity
Section 1: Criminal liability
Paragraph 1: Holders.
- The holder of the fraudulent goods is held responsible for the fraud.
- However, public carriers are not considered, they and their servants or agents,
as offenders when, by an exact and regular designation of their principals, they
put the administration in a position to usefully prosecute the real perpetrators
Paragraph 2: Captains of ships, commanders of aircraft.
- The captains of ships, boats, boats and aircraft commanders are deemed to be
responsible for omissions and inaccuracies noted in the manifests and, in general,
offenses committed on board their vessel.
- However, the prison sentences decreed by this code are not applicable to
captains of merchant or war ships or military or commercial aircraft
only in the event of personal fault.
The captain is relieved of all responsibility:
- a) in the case of an offense referred to in article 424, 2 °, below, if he submits the proof that he has completed
all supervisory duties or if the offender is discovered;
- b) in the event of an offense referred to in article 424, 3 °, below, if it justifies that serious damage
necessitated the diversion of the vessel and provided that these events have been recorded in the log
board before the customs service visit.
Paragraph 3: Declarants.
- The signatories of declarations are responsible for omissions, inaccuracies and the like.
irregularities noted in the declarations, except their recourse against their principals.
- When the declaration has been drawn up in accordance with the instructions given by the principal, this
the latter is liable to the same penalties as the signatory of the declaration.
Paragraph 4: Authorized customs brokers.
- Authorized customs brokers are responsible for customs operations carried out
- The prison sentences decreed by this code are applicable to them only in the event of
Paragraph 5: Bidders.
- Tenderers are responsible for non-performance of the commitments made, except their
recourse against carriers and other agents.
- For this purpose, the service to which the goods are represented gives discharge only for the
quantities in respect of which commitments have been fulfilled within the time limit and penalties
punishing the offense are prosecuted at the issuing office against the bidders and their
Paragraph 6: Accomplices.
The provisions of articles 121-6 and 121-7 of the penal code are applicable to accomplices in crimes
Paragraph 7: Interested in fraud.
- Those who participated as interested in any way in a smuggling offense or
to an import or export offense without declaration are liable to the same penalties as
perpetrators of the offense and, in addition, the deprivation of rights enacted by article 432 below.
- The following are deemed to be interested:
- a) entrepreneurs, business members, insurers, policyholders, lenders, owners of
goods, and, in general, those with a vested interest in fraud;
- b) those who have cooperated in any way with a set of acts performed by a certain
number of individuals acting in concert, according to a fraud plan adopted to ensure the result
- c) those who knowingly either covered up the actions of fraudsters or attempted to procure them
impunity, either purchased or held, even off the shelf, of goods resulting from a crime
contraband or import without declaration.
- Interest in fraud cannot be attributed to the person who acted in a state of necessity or as a result of error.
Those who have bought or held, even outside the department, goods imported into
smuggled or unreported, in quantities greater than their consumption needs
family, are liable to the 4th class contravention sanctions.
Section 2: Civil liability
Paragraph 1: Responsibility of the administration.
The customs administration is responsible for the fact of its employees, in the exercise and for reason
of their functions only, except his recourse against them or their sureties.
When a seizure made under article 323-2 above is unfounded, the owner of the
goods is entitled to compensation interest at the rate of 1% per month of the value of the seized objects,
from the time of the withholding until that of the delivery or the offer made to him.
If it is not found that there is reason for seizure, it must be paid the sum of 0.76 euro to the one at the
domicile of which the searches were made, by virtue of article 64 above, except larger
damages to which the circumstances of the visit may possibly give rise.
Paragraph 2: Responsibility of the owners of the goods.
The owners of the goods are civilly liable on account of their employees with regard to
concerns fees, confiscations, fines and costs.
Paragraph 3: Joint and several liability of sureties.
The sureties are required, in the same way as the principal obligees, to pay the duties and taxes,
pecuniary penalties and other sums owed by the taxpayers they have guaranteed.
Section 3: Solidarity.
- The convictions against several people for the same act of fraud are joint and several, as long as
for pecuniary penalties in lieu of forfeiture only for the fine and costs.
- It is only otherwise with regard to the infringements of articles 53-1 and 61-1 above which are
sanctioned by individual fines.
The owners of the fraudulent goods, those responsible for importing them or
export, those interested in fraud, accomplices and members are all united and binding
by body for the payment of the fine, sums in lieu of confiscation and costs.
Chapter VI: Repressive provisions
Section 1: Classification of customs offenses and penalties
Paragraph 1: General.
There are five classes of customs offenses and three classes of customs offenses.
Any attempted customs offense is considered the offense itself.
Paragraph 2: Customs contraventions
- – First class.
- Is liable to a fine of 300 euros to 3000 euros any infringement of the provisions of the laws and
regulations that the customs administration is responsible for applying when this irregularity is not
not more severely punished by this code.
- Fall, in particular, under the provisions of the preceding paragraph:
- a) any omission or inaccuracy relating to any of the indications that the declarations must
contain when the irregularity has no influence on the application of rights or prohibitions;
- b) any omission to register in the repertoires referred to in article 92 above;
- c) any infringement of the provisions of Articles 72, 77-1, 236 and 261 above or of the provisions
orders issued for the application of article 24-2 of this code;
- d) any infringement of the quality or packaging rules imposed on importation or
export when the purpose or effect of this is not to obtain a refund, a
exemption, reduced duty or financial benefit.
- – Second class.
- Is liable to a fine of between once and twice the amount of duties and taxes evaded
or compromised any breach of the provisions of laws and regulations that the administration of
Customs is responsible for applying when this irregularity has the aim or result of evading or
jeopardize the recovery of any duty or tax and that it is not specifically
repressed by this code.
- Fall, in particular, under the provisions of the preceding paragraph, the infringements
below when they relate to goods in the category of those liable to
duties or taxes:
- a) deficits in the number of packages declared, manifested or transported under bond or
document in lieu of:
- b) deficits on the quantity of goods placed under a suspensive procedure, in stores and
customs clearance areas or warehouses and export areas;
- c) the non-representation of goods placed in private warehouse, special warehouse or
- d) presentation at destination under a broken or altered seal of goods shipped under seal
or customs stamps;
- e) the total or partial non-fulfillment of the commitments made in the surety bonds and
- f) the excess over the declared weight, number or measure;
- g) any maneuver the aim or result of which is to unduly benefit its author or a
third of an exemption, reduction or reduced tax provided for in respect of
energy products mentioned in Articles 265, 266 quinquies or 266 quinquies B;
- h) Any maneuver with the aim or result of unduly benefiting its author or a
third party of an exemption, rebate, deduction, refund or tax
reduced provisions for dock dues and regional dock dues;
- i) total or partial non-compliance with the obligations provided for in article 122 above.
- Contraventional penalties of the 2nd class are also punished.
jeopardizing the collection of port fees or equipment charges.
- – Third class.
Are liable to confiscation of the disputed goods and a fine of 150 euros to 1500
1 ° any act of smuggling as well as any act of importation or exportation without declaration when
the offense relates to goods in the category of those which are neither prohibited nor
heavily taxed on entry, neither subject to internal consumption taxes, nor prohibited or
taxed on exit;
2 ° any false declaration as to the kind, value or origin of the imported goods,
exported or placed under a suspensive procedure when a customs duty or any tax arises
finds it eluded or compromised by this false statement;
3 ° any false declaration in the designation of the actual addressee or the actual sender;
4 ° any false declaration tending to unduly obtain the benefit of the provisions provided for by the
Community rules on franchises;
5 ° any diversion of non-prohibited goods from their preferred destination;
6 ° the presentation as a unit in the manifests or declarations of several balls or other
closed packages, brought together in any way;
7 ° the transport of goods by foreign ships from one French port to another French port, excluding
the cases provided for in article 259 above;
8 ° the absence of a manifesto or the non-representation of the original of the manifesto; any omission of
goods in manifests or summary declarations; any difference in the
nature of the goods manifested or summarily declared;
9 ° any contravention of the ban on living in a free zone, selling there at retail or carrying out
- – Fifth class.
- Is liable to imprisonment for one month and a fine of 90 euros to 450 euros, any
infringement of the provisions of articles 53-1, 61-1, 69 b, 71 and 117-2 above, as well as any refusal
communication of documents, any concealment of parts or operations in the cases provided for in
Articles 65 and 92 above.
- Also fall under the provisions of the previous paragraph:
- a) any person who, having been the subject of a withdrawal of the authorization or a withdrawal of the authorization of
customs clearance provided for in Articles 87-3 and 88 above, continues, or to be completed for
others, directly or indirectly, the customs formalities concerning the detailed declaration
goods, either to benefit, directly or indirectly, from all or part of
remuneration of the type defined in article 93 above;
- b) any person who knowingly lends his assistance in order to avoid the effects of the withdrawal
approval or withdrawal of the authorization to clear those who have been affected.
Paragraph 3: Customs offenses
- – First class.
Are liable to imprisonment for a maximum of three years, confiscation of the object of fraud,
confiscation of means of transport, confiscation of objects used to hide fraud
and a fine of between one and two times the value of the object of fraud, any fact of
smuggling as well as any unreported import or export when these
offenses relate to goods of the category of those which are prohibited or
heavily taxed within the meaning of this code.
The prison sentence is increased to a maximum of ten years and the fine can go up to
up to five times the value of the object of fraud, i.e. when the facts of contraband, import
or export concern goods dangerous to health, morals or safety
public, the list of which is fixed by order of the Minister in charge of customs, or when they are
organized gang clerk.
The following are liable to the penalties provided for in the first paragraph of article 414:
1 ° The fact of exporting native gold from Guyana either without a detailed declaration or under cover of a
detailed declaration not applicable to the goods presented, or by subtracting the
goods to the customs service by concealment;
2 ° The possession or transport of native gold within the customs department of Guyana without presentation
one of the supporting documents provided for in article 198.
- – Second class.
Will be punished by imprisonment from two to ten years, confiscation of the sums in violation
or a sum in lieu when the seizure could not be pronounced and a fine included
between one and five times the amount of the offense or attempted offense those who
will have, by exporting, importing, transferring or clearing, proceeded or attempted to carry out a
financial transaction between France and abroad involving funds that they knew to come from,
directly or indirectly, of an offense provided for in this code or of an infringement of the legislation
on poisonous substances or plants classified as narcotic drugs.
Paragraph 4: Contraband.
- Contraband means imports or exports out of offices as well as
any violation of the legal or regulatory provisions relating to the possession and transport of
goods within the customs territory.
- The following constitute, in particular, acts of smuggling:
- a) violation of the provisions of Articles 75, 76-2, 78-1, 81-1, 83, 198, 199 and 205 above;
- b) fraudulent payments or fraudulent embarkation made either within the confines of ports,
either on the coasts, with the exception of fraudulent landings referred to in article 427, 1 ° below;
- c) subtractions or substitutions during transport of goods dispatched under a
suspensive regime, non-observance without legitimate reason of the routes and timetables set, the
maneuvers with the aim or result of altering or rendering ineffective the means of
sealing, security or identification and, in general, any customs fraud relating to
the transport of goods dispatched under suspensive arrangements;
- d) violation of the provisions, either legislative or regulatory, prohibiting
export or re-export, or make the export or re-export conditional on
payment of duties or taxes or the completion of special formalities when the fraud has
been made or attempted outside the office and that it is not specifically repressed by another
provision of this code.
- Imports or exports without declaration are assimilated to acts of smuggling.
when goods passing through a customs office are exempt from inspection by the customs service
customs by concealment in specially equipped hiding places or in cavities or
empty spaces which are not normally intended for the accommodation of goods.
Goods in the category of those prohibited on entry or heavily taxed or
subject to domestic consumption taxes are deemed to have been smuggled
and goods in the category of those whose exit is prohibited or subject to duties are
deemed to be the subject of attempted smuggling in all cases of infringement
1 ° when they are found in the terrestrial zone of the radius without being provided with
payment, gangway or other shipment valid for the route they are following and for the time in
which is transported, unless they come from within the customs territory via the
road that leads directly to the nearest customs office and are accompanied by
documents provided for in article 198-2 above;
2 ° when, even if accompanied by a shipment expressly required to have it stamped
at an office of transit, they passed that office without the said obligation having been fulfilled;
3 ° when, having been brought to the office, in the case provided for in article 199-2 above, they are
find the documents indicated in article 198-2 lacking;
4 ° when they are found in the terrestrial zone of the radius in violation of article 206 above.
- The goods referred to in Articles 2b, 215, 215a and 215b are deemed to have been
smuggled in the absence of either proof of origin or presentation of one of the
documents provided for by these same articles or if the documents presented are false, inaccurate,
incomplete or not applicable.
- They are seized wherever they are and the persons referred to in 2 and 3 of article
2 ter, in 1 and 2 of article 215, in article 215 bis and in article 215 ter are prosecuted and punished
in accordance with the provisions of article 414 above.
- When they have learned that the person who issued them the proof of origin does not
could validly do so or that whoever sold, ceded, exchanged or entrusted them
goods was not able to justify their lawful detention, the holders and
carriers will be sentenced to the same penalties and the goods will be seized and confiscated
under the same conditions as above, regardless of the justifications that may have been
Any quantity in excess of the open account provided for in article
207 above or any merchandise not listed in this account.
Animals in the category of those which are prohibited or heavily taxed at entry are deemed to be
have been imported fraudulently and animals in the category of those whose seizure is prohibited or
subject to duties are deemed to have been attempted to be smuggled into
all cases of infringement indicated below:
1 ° When they are found in the area defined in article 208-1 in violation of the provisions of
Articles 208 and 210 above and the decrees, orders and regulations adopted for their application;
2 ° In the event of a deficit observed during the censuses and checks provided for in article 211 above;
3 ° In the event of a maneuver or false declaration aimed at unduly obtaining the issuance of
movement, the registration of animals in an open account or their cancellation, or the cancellation of
commitments appearing on the acquits-à-surety or side decks.
Except in the case of mortality, the failure to reimport animals sent for grazing abroad in
the conditions provided for in article 180 above is deemed to be smuggled if the animals
are in the category of those whose exit is prohibited or subject to duties.
Paragraph 5: Imports and exports without declaration.
The following constitute imports or exports without declaration:
1 ° Imports or exports by customs offices, without detailed declaration or under
covered by a detailed declaration not applicable to the goods presented;
2 ° Subtractions or substitutions of goods under customs control;
3 ° Failure to file, within the time limit set, the additional declarations provided for in article
100 bis above.
The following are deemed to be imported without declaration:
1 ° goods declared for temporary exportation or to obtain a clearance
circulation within the shelf, in the event of non-representation or difference in nature or species
between the said goods and those presented on departure;
2 ° objects prohibited or heavily taxed on entry or liable to internal taxes discovered at
on board ships located within the limits of commercial ports and roadsteads independently of
objects regularly displayed or constituting the cargo and ship’s stores duly
represented before visit;
3 ° goods specially designated by order of the Minister of the Economy and Finance
discoveries on board vessels of less than 100 net tons or 500 tons
crude sailing or anchored in the maritime zone of the customs radius;
4 ° goods found in free zones in violation of articles 287-1, 288-2 to 4 and
Packages exceeding the declared number are deemed to be imported or exported without declaration.
The following are deemed to be import or export without declaration of prohibited goods:
1 ° any infringement of the provisions of article 38-3 above as well as the fact of having obtained or
attempted to obtain the issuance of one of the titles referred to in the aforementioned article 38-3, or by counterfeiting
public seals, either by false declarations or by any other fraudulent means;
2 ° any false declaration the purpose or effect of which is to evade the application of
prohibition. However, goods prohibited on entry or exit that have been declared
under a name highlighting the prohibition which affects them are not entered: those
intended for import are sent abroad; those whose output is requested remain in
3 ° false declarations in the species, value or origin of the goods or in the
designation of the actual consignee or the actual consignor when these offenses have been committed
using false, inaccurate, incomplete or non-applicable invoices, certificates or any other documents
4 ° false declarations or maneuvers the purpose or effect of which is to obtain, in whole or in part,
a refund, exemption, reduced duty or any advantage attached to
import or export, excluding infringements of the rules of quality or
conditioning when these infringements do not have the aim or the effect of obtaining a
reimbursement, exemption, reduced duty or financial benefit;
5 ° drawing up, causing to be drawn up, obtaining or using an invoice, certificate or any other
document tainted with forgery making it possible to obtain or cause to be improperly obtained, in France or in a
foreign country, the benefit of a preferential regime provided either by a treaty or an agreement
international, or by a provision of domestic law, in favor of goods leaving the
French customs territory or entering it;
6 ° false declarations or maneuvers and, in general, any act with the aim or
the effect of evading or compromising the recovery of the rights provided for in article 19 bis above
7 ° any movement of goods referred to in 4 and 5 of Article 38, carried out in violation of the
provisions prohibiting export or import.
The following are deemed to be imports without declaration of prohibited goods:
1 ° the unloading in fraud of the objects referred to in article 424-2 ° above;
2 ° failure to file, within the time limits set, the declaration provided for in article 230-2, above
3 ° the fraudulent francization of ships as well as the fact that ships are under
covered with false, falsified or unenforceable on-board documents or nationality documents, in the
territorial waters, roadsteads and ports, in the case of vessels of any tonnage, and, in the maritime zone of
customs radius, in the case of ships of less than 100 tons net tonnage or 500
gross tonnage barrels;
4 ° registration, fraudulent or not, without prior completion of customs formalities,
automobiles, motorcycles or aircraft;
5 ° the diversion of prohibited goods from their preferred destination;
6 ° the diversion of energy products mentioned in Articles 265, 266 quinquies or 266
quinquies B of a privileged destination from a tax point of view and in particular the use of
agricultural fuels for uses other than those prescribed by law.
- An import or export without declaration of prohibited goods is deemed to be any
infringement of provisions, either legislative or regulatory prohibiting imports,
export or re-export, or make the export or re-export conditional on
payment of duties, taxes or the completion of special formalities when the fraud has
been made or attempted by the offices and that it is not specially repressed by another
provision of this code.
- In the event that the goods which have been exported by derogation from an exit prohibition, to
destination of a specific country, are, after arrival in that country, returned to a third country,
the exporter is liable to the penalties of exporting without declaration if it is established that this
reshipment was carried out on his instructions, at his instigation or with his complicity, or
if it is demonstrated that he benefited from it or that he was aware of the proposed redirection to the
time of export.
- The provisions of 1 above are not applicable to infringements of the rules of quality or
packaging imposed on export.
- When the provisions of article 119 bis above are applied, the export or
attempted export without declaration gives rise, regardless of the penalties provided for by the
legislation of the territory of departure, to the application of the penalties enacted in the event of importation without
declaration in the territory of destination, provided that they are prohibited goods,
subject to domestic consumption duties, or heavily taxed upon entry into the territory
- The customs service of the territory of departure is authorized to collect, for the benefit of the budget of the
territory of destination, the amount of pecuniary reparations thus incurred.
- The provisions of this article are not applicable in direct relations between the territory
customs, on the one hand, the overseas territories of the French Republic, on the other hand, that under
subject to the agreement of the qualified authorities of the latter territories.
Section 2: Additional penalties
Paragraph 1: Confiscation.
Regardless of the other penalties provided for in this code, the following are confiscated:
1 ° goods which have been or should be substituted in the cases provided for in Articles 411-2 a,
417-2 c and 423-2 °;
2 ° the goods presented on departure in the case provided for by article 424-1 ° above;
3 ° the means of transport when the driver refuses to obey the injunctions referred to in article
Paragraph 2: On-call penalty.
Regardless of the fine incurred for refusal to communicate under the conditions provided for
in Articles 65 and 92 above, offenders must be ordered to represent the books,
documents or documents not communicated, under a penalty of at least 1.50 euro by each
This penalty begins to run from the day of the signature by the parties or of the notification.
the report drawn up to record the refusal to execute the judgment duly served; she
does not cease until the day it is ascertained, by means of a note entered by a control officer on the
one of the main books of the company or establishment, which the administration has been placed in
to obtain orderly communication.
Paragraph 3: Penalties involving deprivation of rights.
- In addition to the penalties provided for in this code, those found guilty of having participated
as interested in any way in a smuggling offense or an importation offense
or export without declaration are declared incapable of appearing on the stock exchange, of exercising the
functions of stockbroker or broker, of being voters or elected to chambers of commerce,
commercial courts and industrial tribunals for as long as they have not been
relieved of this incapacity.
- For this purpose, extracts from judgments or orders relating to these individuals are sent by the
public prosecutor at the criminal court or by the general prosecutor at the court
appeal, to attorneys general as well as to all customs directors to be displayed and
made public in all audiences, exchanges and places of commerce, and for publication in
costs of the convicted person in accordance with article 243 of law n ° 85-98 of 25 January 1985 relating to
reorganization and judicial liquidation of companies.
- The court may, as an additional penalty, pronounce against persons
condemned for offenses provided for in Articles 414 and 459 of this Code, the prohibition
temporary to exercise, directly or through an intermediary, on their behalf or on behalf of
others, any industrial, commercial or liberal profession; driving license suspension
a motor vehicle can be pronounced under the same conditions. The duration of the ban
or the suspension may not exceed three years; this duration may be doubled in the event of a repeat offense. The
court may authorize the convicted person to use his driving license for the exercise of a
professional activity in accordance with the procedures provided for the application of 1 ° of article 131-6 of
- Anyone who contravenes the prohibitions provided for in 1 above will be punished by imprisonment.
two years and a fine of 15,000 euros or one of these two penalties only.
- Anyone who is judicially convinced of having abused a suspensive regime may, by
decision of the director general of customs and indirect rights, be excluded from the benefit of the
temporary admission and be deprived of the faculty of transit and warehouse as well as of any credit of
- Anyone who lends his name to remove from the effects of these provisions those who may have been
reached will incur the same penalties.
Section 3: Special cases of application of penalties
Paragraph 1: Confiscation.
- In the cases of infringement referred to in articles 424-2 ° and 427-1 °, confiscation cannot be
pronounced only with regard to the objects of fraud. However, goods masking fraud and
means of transport used for unloading and removing fraudulent objects are
confiscated when it is established that the owner of these means of transport is an accomplice of
- In the event of a new establishment of an office, goods not prohibited for import
or export or not heavily taxed are not subject to confiscation, for not having been there
conducted or declared, only two months after the publication ordered by article 47-2 above.
When the objects liable to confiscation could not be seized or when, having been seized, the
customs so request, the court pronounces, in lieu of confiscation, the conviction
the payment of a sum equal to the value represented by said objects and calculated according to the price
of the internal market at the time the fraud was committed.
Paragraph 2: Special methods of calculating pecuniary penalties.
When it is not possible to determine the amount of duties and taxes actually payable or the
actual value of the disputed goods, in particular in the cases of infringement provided for by the
articles 411-2 a, 417-2 c, 421-3 °, 423-2 ° and 426-1 °, the penalties are settled on the basis of the tariff on
highest applicable to the most heavily taxed category of goods of the same kind and
according to the average value indicated by the last monthly customs statistics.
The amount of multiple fines of rights or value may not be less than 150 euros or
300 euros depending on whether they are defined according to rights or value.
In the cases referred to in article 411-2 a and b relating to deficits in the number of packages and
quantities of goods and in the cases referred to in article 417-2 c relating to subtractions or
substitutions during the transport of goods, the minimum rate of fines imposed is
fixed at 30 euros per package, or, in the case of bulk goods, per tonne or fraction of a tonne.
When the court has become convinced that offers, proposals to buy or sell,
agreements of any kind relating to the objects of fraud have been made or contracted at a price
higher than the domestic market price at the time the fraud was committed, it may be based on
this price for the calculation of the penalties fixed by this code according to the value of said objects.
In the cases of infringement provided for in article 426-4 ° above, the penalties are determined according to the
value assigned for the calculation of reimbursement, exemption from reduced duty or benefit
sought or obtained, if this value is greater than the actual value.
Paragraph 3: Concurrence of offenses.
- Any fact falling within the scope of the distinct repressive provisions enacted by this code
must be considered in the highest penal sense to which it is susceptible.
- In the event of multiple contraventions or customs offenses, pecuniary convictions are
pronounced for each of the duly established offenses.
Without prejudice to the application of the penalties decreed by this code, the offenses of insults,
de facto, rebellion, corruption or prevarication and those of contraband with assembly and port
weapons are prosecuted, tried and punished in accordance with common law.