LexInter | November 9, 2011 | 0 Comments


Article 322a

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.

Article 323

  1. Violations of customs laws and regulations can be detected by a customs officer

or any other administration.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

seizure reports.

Article 324

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


  1. b) In the event of a seizure in a house, the official report may be validly drawn up there.

Article 325

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.

Article 326

  1. When the seized goods are not prohibited, a release of the means of

transport under solvent deposit or under consignment of the value.

  1. This offer, as well as the response, are mentioned in the minutes.
  2. 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.

Article 327

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. – Seizures relating to forgery and alteration of shipments.

Article 329


  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. – Home seizures.

Article 330

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. – Seizures on ships and decked boats.

Article 331

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


  1. – Entries outside the radius.

Article 332

  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  1. In the event of seizure after police prosecution, the report must record:
  2. 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;

  1. 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

of seizure.

Article 333

  1. The reports recording customs offenses are submitted to the public prosecutor and

the captured defendants are brought before this magistrate.

  1. 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.

Article 334

  1. 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.

  1. 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

official report

Paragraph 1: Stamp and registration.

Article 335

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.

Article 336

  1. Customs reports drawn up by two customs officers or any other

administration shall be authentic until registration of false material findings they relate.

  1. They are only authentic until proof to the contrary of the accuracy and sincerity of the confession and

statements they report.

Article 337

  1. Customs reports drawn up by a single agent are binding until proven otherwise.
  2. 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.

Article 338

  1. 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



  1. 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.

Article 339

  1. 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.

  1. 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

fake inscription.

  1. 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.

Article 340

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Article 341

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 case.

Article 341a

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Article 342

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.

Article 343

  1. Action for the enforcement of sentences is exercised by the public prosecutor.
  2. The action for the application of fiscal sanctions is exercised by the customs administration;the

public prosecutor may exercise it incidentally to public action.

  1. 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

fiscal penalties.

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.

Article 343a


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.

Article 344

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.

Article 345

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


Article 345a

  1. – 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.


  1. – 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.

  1. – 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.

Article 346

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.

Article 347

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.

Article 348

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.

Article 349

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.

Article 349a

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.

Article 350

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. c) after final judgment, the fiscal sanctions pronounced by the courts cannot

the transaction object.

Paragraph 2: Limitation of action.

Article 351

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

and taxpayers

  1. – Prescription against taxpayers.

Article 352

  1. 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.

Article 352a

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.

Article 352b


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.

Article 353

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.

  1. – Prescription against the administration.

Article 354

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

community customs.

The limitation period is interrupted by the notification of a customs report.

  1. – Cases where short-term prescriptions do not take place.

Article 355

  1. 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

say again.

  1. 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.


  1. 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”.

Article 356

Police courts deal with customs contraventions and all matters

customs raised by way of exception.

Article 357

  1. The correctional courts hear all customs offenses and all questions

customs raised by way of exception.

  1. They are similarly aware of related, incidental or related customs contraventions

to a customs or common law offense.

Article 357a

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”.

Article 358

  1. 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.

  1. 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


  1. 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.

Article 361

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

Civil Procedure.

Paragraph 4: Notification of judgments and other acts of


Article 362

  1. Notifications to the customs administration are made to the agent representing it.
  2. Notifications to the other party are made in accordance with the rules of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Section 3: Procedure before criminal courts.

Article 363

Common law provisions on the investigation of flagrante delicto before the courts

corrections are applicable in the case provided for by article 333 above.


Article 365

The rules of procedure in force in the territory are applicable to summonses, judgments,

oppositions and appeals.

Section 4: Appeal on points of law.

Article 366

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

  1. – Instruction and costs.

Article 367

In first instance and on appeal, the instruction is oral on simple memory and without charge of

justice to be repeated on both sides.

  1. – Achievements.

Article 368

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,


Article 369

  1. If it finds the mitigating circumstances, the court may:
  2. 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;

  1. b) release offenders from the confiscation of objects used to conceal the fraud;
  2. c) reduce the amount of sums in lieu of confiscation of fraudulent goods until

third of the value of these goods;

  1. d) reduce the amount of tax fines to a third of their minimum amount, subject to the

provisions of article 437 below;

  1. 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.

  1. (paragraph repealed).
  2. 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.

  1. 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


quantitative restrictions.

Article 370

  1. 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.

  1. 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

customs offenses

  1. – Proof of non-contravention.

Article 373

In any action on a seizure, proof of non-infringement is the responsibility of the seized.

  1. – Action in warranty.

Article 374

  1. 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.

  1. 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

warranty calls.

  1. – Confiscation of objects seized from unknown persons and minutes.


Article 375

  1. 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.

  1. The said request shall be adjudicated by a single order, even if the request relates to

several seizures made separately.

  1. – Claiming the seized objects.

Article 376

  1. 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.

  1. The deadlines for appeal, third party opposition and sale have expired, all repetitions and actions are not


  1. – False statements.

Article 377

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.

  1. – Payment of fraudulent or improperly obtained sums.

Article 377a

  1. In addition to tax penalties, the courts order the payment of defrauded sums or

unduly obtained.

  1. 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.

Article 378

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.

Article 379

  1. 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

still packed.

  1. The administration has similarly mortgage on the buildings of the taxpayers but for the rights


  1. The notice of collection entails mortgage in the same manner and to the same

conditions that the convictions emanating from the judicial authority.

Article 379a

  1. 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.


  1. The advertisement is carried out at the behest of the administration responsible for collection.
  2. Registration may only be required, depending on the nature of the claim, from the date on which a

enforceable title has been issued.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. The costs of registering the privilege are the responsibility of the Treasury.
  2. 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.

  1. Registrations made in application of 1 to 5 are prescribed by four years, except renewal.
  2. The competent accountant requests, within one month, the total cancellation of the registration.

become irrelevant once the debtor has discharged his debt.

  1. 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.

Article 380

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.


Article 381

  1. 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


  1. However, this subrogation may in no case be opposed to the administrations of the State.

Paragraph 3: Debt collection within the framework of the

European Community.

Article 381a

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

French public.

Section 2: Methods of execution

Paragraph 1: General rules.

Article 382

  1. The execution of judgments and rulings in customs matters can take place by any means

by right.

  1. The judgments and judgments condemning an offense against customs laws are, moreover,

executed by corps.

  1. (paragraph repealed).
  2. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Article 383

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


Article 384

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.

Article 385

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.

Article 386

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.


Article 386a

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.

Article 387

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

deemed sufficient.

  1. 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.

Article 387a

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.

Article 388

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

  1. – Sale before judgment of perishable goods and means


Article 389

  1. 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.

  1. 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,


  1. The order of the magistrate or the investigating judge will be executed notwithstanding opposition or


  1. 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.

  1. – Destruction before judgment of certain categories of


Article 389a

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. The order of the magistrate or the investigating judge is executed notwithstanding opposition or

call. The destruction is recorded in a report.

  1. – Alienation of goods confiscated or abandoned by


Article 390


  1. 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


  1. 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.

Article 390a

  1. 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.

  1. The requests for remission are examined by the customs administration and submitted to the president.

of the court which pronounced the sentence.

  1. 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.

Article 391

  1. 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.

  1. 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

Official newspaper.

Chapter V: Responsibility and solidarity


Section 1: Criminal liability

Paragraph 1: Holders.

Article 392

  1. The holder of the fraudulent goods is held responsible for the fraud.
  2. 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

of fraud.

Paragraph 2: Captains of ships, commanders of aircraft.

Article 393

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Article 394

The captain is relieved of all responsibility:

  1. 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;

  1. 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.


Article 395

  1. The signatories of declarations are responsible for omissions, inaccuracies and the like.

irregularities noted in the declarations, except their recourse against their principals.

  1. 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.

Article 396

  1. Authorized customs brokers are responsible for customs operations carried out

by them.

  1. The prison sentences decreed by this code are applicable to them only in the event of

personal fault.

Paragraph 5: Bidders.

Article 397

  1. Tenderers are responsible for non-performance of the commitments made, except their

recourse against carriers and other agents.

  1. 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.

Article 398

The provisions of articles 121-6 and 121-7 of the penal code are applicable to accomplices in crimes

customs officials.


Paragraph 7: Interested in fraud.

Article 399

  1. 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.

  1. The following are deemed to be interested:
  2. a) entrepreneurs, business members, insurers, policyholders, lenders, owners of

goods, and, in general, those with a vested interest in fraud;

  1. 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

pursued jointly;

  1. 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.

  1. Interest in fraud cannot be attributed to the person who acted in a state of necessity or as a result of error.


Article 400

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.

Article 401


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.

Article 402

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.

Article 403

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.

Article 404

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.

Article 405

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.

Article 406


  1. 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.

  1. It is only otherwise with regard to the infringements of articles 53-1 and 61-1 above which are

sanctioned by individual fines.

Article 407

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.

Article 408

There are five classes of customs offenses and three classes of customs offenses.

Article 409

Any attempted customs offense is considered the offense itself.

Paragraph 2: Customs contraventions

  1. – First class.


Article 410

  1. 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.

  1. Fall, in particular, under the provisions of the preceding paragraph:
  2. 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;

  1. b) any omission to register in the repertoires referred to in article 92 above;
  2. 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;

  1. 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.

  1. – Second class.

Article 411

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

  1. a) deficits in the number of packages declared, manifested or transported under bond or

document in lieu of:

  1. b) deficits on the quantity of goods placed under a suspensive procedure, in stores and

customs clearance areas or warehouses and export areas;

  1. c) the non-representation of goods placed in private warehouse, special warehouse or

industrial warehouse;

  1. d) presentation at destination under a broken or altered seal of goods shipped under seal


or customs stamps;

  1. e) the total or partial non-fulfillment of the commitments made in the surety bonds and


  1. f) the excess over the declared weight, number or measure;
  2. 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;

  1. 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;

  1. i) total or partial non-compliance with the obligations provided for in article 122 above.
  2. Contraventional penalties of the 2nd class are also punished.

jeopardizing the collection of port fees or equipment charges.

  1. – Third class.

Article 412

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

unauthorized manipulations.

  1. – Fifth class.

Article 413a

  1. 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.

  1. Also fall under the provisions of the previous paragraph:
  2. 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;

  1. 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

  1. – First class.

Article 414


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.

Article 414-1

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.

  1. – Second class.

Article 415

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.

Article 417

  1. 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.

  1. The following constitute, in particular, acts of smuggling:
  2. a) violation of the provisions of Articles 75, 76-2, 78-1, 81-1, 83, 198, 199 and 205 above;
  3. 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;

  1. 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;

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Article 418

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

indicated below:

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.

Article 419

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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


Article 420

Any quantity in excess of the open account provided for in article

207 above or any merchandise not listed in this account.

Article 421

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.

Article 422

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.

Article 423

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.

Article 424

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

289 above.

Article 425

Packages exceeding the declared number are deemed to be imported or exported without declaration.

Article 426

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

France ;

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.

Article 427

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.

Article 428

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. The provisions of 1 above are not applicable to infringements of the rules of quality or

packaging imposed on export.

Article 429


  1. 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

of destination.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Article 430

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

61-1 above.

Paragraph 2: On-call penalty.

Article 431

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

day late.


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.

Article 432

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Article 432a

  1. 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

Penal Code.

  1. 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.

Article 433

  1. 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


  1. 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.

Article 434

  1. 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


  1. 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.

Article 435

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.

Article 436

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.


Article 437

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.

Article 438

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.

Article 438a

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.

Article 439

  1. 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.

  1. In the event of multiple contraventions or customs offenses, pecuniary convictions are

pronounced for each of the duly established offenses.

Article 440

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.

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