B-60093, AUGUST 22, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 111

B-60093: Aug 22, 1947

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ACCRUING PRIOR TO THE DATE PROCESS FOR THE ARREST OF SUCH PROPERTY IS SERVED BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSTITUTION OF IN REM FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS. - ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION " COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS. " BUT EXPENSES ACCRUING THEREAFTER ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION " SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF MARSHALS. WAS FILED WITH THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS PURSUANT TO SECTION 564 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 1930 BEFORE THE AUTOMOBILE HAD BEEN FORFEITED AND TURNED OVER TO THE COLLECTOR FOR OFFICIAL USE AS A RESULT OF IN REM PROCEEDINGS IN WHICH THE LIENOR DID NOT INTERVENE. THE APPROPRIATION " COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS" IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE COST OF DISCHARGING THE LIEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 305 OF THE LIQUOR LAW REPEAL AND ENFORCEMENT ACT.

B-60093, AUGUST 22, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 111

PROPERTY - PRIVATE - SEIZURE BY CUSTOMS OFFICIALS - APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE WITH COST OF SEIZURE, LIENS, ETC. THE EXPENSES OF SEIZURE, STORAGE, AND DISPOSITION OF MERCHANDISE, VEHICLES, ETC., SEIZED BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF TITLE VI OF THE ESPIONAGE ACT FOR VIOLATION OF THE EXPORT CONTROL ACT OF 1940, ACCRUING PRIOR TO THE DATE PROCESS FOR THE ARREST OF SUCH PROPERTY IS SERVED BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSTITUTION OF IN REM FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS--- OR, IF NO PROCESS BE ISSUED, PRIOR TO THE DATE SUCH DEPARTMENT TAKES POSSESSION THEREOF--- ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION " COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS," BUT EXPENSES ACCRUING THEREAFTER ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION " SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF MARSHALS, ETC., DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.' WHERE A LIEN AGAINST AN AUTOMOBILE, REPRESENTING EXPENSES ACCRUING PRIOR TO SEIZURE THEREOF BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF TITLE VI OF THE ESPIONAGE ACT FOR VIOLATION OF THE EXPORT CONTROL ACT OF 1940, WAS FILED WITH THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS PURSUANT TO SECTION 564 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 1930 BEFORE THE AUTOMOBILE HAD BEEN FORFEITED AND TURNED OVER TO THE COLLECTOR FOR OFFICIAL USE AS A RESULT OF IN REM PROCEEDINGS IN WHICH THE LIENOR DID NOT INTERVENE, THE APPROPRIATION " COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS" IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE COST OF DISCHARGING THE LIEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 305 OF THE LIQUOR LAW REPEAL AND ENFORCEMENT ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, AUGUST 22, 1947:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 6, 1947, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A COMMUNICATION DATED MARCH 18, 1947 (MISC 2600501- CTL), FROM THE CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, RELATIVE TO A LIEN IN THE AMOUNT OF $135.92 FOR OCEAN FREIGHT CHARGES, TAX, AND WHARFAGE, FILED BY THE WEST PALM BEACH TERMINAL COMPANY OF WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, IN CONNECTION WITH THE SEIZURE OF A BUICK SEDAN SUBSEQUENTLY FORFEITED TO THE GOVERNMENT AND AWARDED FOR OFFICIAL USE.

THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS AT TAMPA, FLORIDA, REPORTS THAT A WARRANT FOR THE DETENTION OF THE AUTOMOBILE WAS ISSUED BY THE DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA ON MAY 27, 1946, AND THAT THE AUTOMOBILE WAS DECLARED FORFEITED AND AWARDED FOR OFFICIAL USE BY THE COURT ON OCTOBER 9, 1946.

THE NOTICE OF LIEN FOR $135.92 WAS FILED BY THE WEST PALM BEACH TERMINAL COMPANY WITH THE DEPUTY COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS AT WEST PALM BEACH ON JULY 15, 1946, AND ON JULY 18, 1946, THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY WAS INFORMED OF THE FACT THAT A LIEN HAD BEEN FILED. HOWEVER, THE WEST PALM BEACH TERMINAL COMPANY DID NOT FILE A NOTICE OF LIEN WITH THE COURT NOR DID IT FILE ANY ANSWER TO THE LIBEL, AND THE COURT FORFEITED THE AUTOMOBILE TO THE UNITED STATES AND DIRECTED THE MARSHAL TO DELIVER THE AUTOMOBILE TO THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS AT TAMPA FOR OFFICIAL USE WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE LIEN.

THE ORIGINAL NOTICE OF LIEN FOR FREIGHT, AND AFFIDAVIT OF CLAIMANT, AND AN ATTESTED COPY OF THE ORDER OF THE COURT ARE ENCLOSED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

YOU REQUEST TO BE ADVISED WHETHER THERE IS ANY VALID REASON WHY THE APPROPRIATION " COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS" SHOULD NOT BE CHARGED WITH EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SEIZURE, STORAGE, AND DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY SEIZED UNDER TITLE VI OF THE ESPIONAGE ACT BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS AS IN VIOLATION OF THE EXPORT CONTROL ACT, WHICH ACCRUE PRIOR TO THE SERVICE OF PROCESS BY A UNITED STATES MARSHAL OR, IN THE ABSENCE OF PROCESS, PRIOR TO THE DATE ON WHICH THE MARSHAL TAKES POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY.

THE DEPARTMENT IS AT PRESENT AWAITING A DECISION ON THIS QUESTION FROM YOUR OFFICE, A NUMBER OF CASES INVOLVING THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE SEIZURE OF AUTOMOBILES ON THE MEXICAN BORDER UNDER EXPORT CONTROL LAWS HAVING BEEN SUBMITTED TO YOU FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THESE CASES ARE NOW PENDING IN THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF YOUR OFFICE. THIS DEPARTMENT HAS CONSISTENTLY TAKEN THE POSITION THAT SUCH EXPENSES ARE NOT PAYABLE FROM THE CUSTOMS APPROPRIATION. THE PERTINENT PORTION OF THAT APPROPRIATION PROVIDES "FOR THE COST OF SEIZURE, STORAGE, AND DISPOSITION OF ANY MERCHANDISE, VEHICLE AND TEAM, AUTOMOBILE, BOAT, AIR OR WATER CRAFT, OR ANY OTHER CONVEYANCE SEIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CUSTOMS LAWS.' ( PUBLIC LAW 518, 79TH CONG., PAGE 6.) ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

FROM AN ABSTRACT POINT OF VIEW IT WOULD SEEM OBVIOUS THAT EXPORT CONTROL LAWS ARE NOT "CUSTOMS LAWS.' THEY INVOLVE NO REVENUE AND OUR TARIFF LAWS ARE CONCERNED ONLY WITH IMPORTS EXCEPT AS TO THOSE WHICH PROVIDE FOR EXPORTATION TO SECURE RELIEF FROM DUTIES OR OTHER RESTRICTION INCURRED BY REASON OF A PREVIOUS IMPORTATION. SO FAR AS THE ENFORCEMENT OF EXPORT CONTROL LAWS IS CONCERNED, THE CUSTOMS SERVICE MERELY ACTS AS AGENT FOR OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. IN A CASE DECIDED BY YOU ON NOVEMBER 18, 1927 (A-20406; 7 COMP. GEN. 337), IT WAS HELD THAT SECTIONS 4337 AND 4377 OF THE REVISED STATUTES WERE NOT CUSTOMS LAWS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3072 R.S. (PROVIDING FOR COMPENSATION TO INFORMERS), EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE HELD IN MAUL V. UNITED STATES, (274 U.S. 501) TO BE LAWS RESPECTING THE REVENUE. THAT DECISION WOULD SEEM TO BE A PERSUASIVE, IF NOT A CONCLUSIVE, ANSWER TO THE QUESTION UPON WHICH YOU REQUEST ADVICE.

THIS DEPARTMENT IS OF THE OPINION THAT THE CUSTOMS APPROPRIATION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE LIEN ABOVE REFERRED TO FILED BY THE WEST PALM BEACH TERMINAL COMPANY. IT IS NOT AN EXPENSE OF SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE. NOTE SECTION 613, TARIFF ACT OF 1930, PROVIDING SEPARATELY FOR PAYMENT FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE OF FORFEITED MERCHANDISE OF EXPENSES OF SEIZURE, FORFEITURE, AND SALE, AND OF "LIENS FOR FREIGHT, CHARGES, AND CONTRIBUTIONS IN GENERAL AVERAGE.'

SECTION 304 OF THE LIQUOR LAW REPEAL AND ENFORCEMENT ACT ( U.S.C., TITLE 40, SEC. 304J) PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT FROM THE APPROPRIATION OF AN AGENCY PURSUANT TO LAW.' THIS MIGHT BE DEEMED SUFFICIENT AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF THE LIEN IN QUESTION FROM THE CUSTOMS APPROPRIATION IF THE AUTOMOBILE CAN BE CONSIDERED "IMPORTED MERCHANDISE.' HOWEVER, SECTION 564 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 1930 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART FOR THE FILING WITH THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS OF A NOTICE OF LIEN UPON ANY "IMPORTED MERCHANDISE * * * TAKEN POSSESSION OF BY HIM.' ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.) THE CAR IN QUESTION WAS EXPORTED WITHOUT A LICENSE AND WAS BROUGHT BACK BY THE OWNER BECAUSE OF THE INVESTIGATION BEING MADE AS TO THE LEGALITY OF ITS EXPORTATION, WHEREUPON IT WAS PLACED UNDER SEIZURE FOR VIOLATION OF THE EXPORT CONTROL LAWS. ALTHOUGH THE CAR WAS PHYSICALLY BROUGHT INTO THE UNITED STATES FROM CUBA AND TAKEN POSSESSION OF BY THE COLLECTOR, IT WAS NOT IMPORTED IN THE ORDINARY SENSE, SINCE IT WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE ENTERED INTO THE COMMERCE OF THE COUNTRY BUT WAS BROUGHT BACK FOR THE PURPOSE OF SURRENDER TO THE GOVERNMENT.

MOREOVER, ALTHOUGH THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY WAS ADVISED OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE LIEN, IT SEEMS NEVER TO HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE COURT IN THE LIBEL PROCEEDINGS. THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT DECREED THAT "DEFAULT BE AND THE SAME IS HEREBY ENTERED AGAINST THE SAID AUTOMOBILE HEREINABOVE DESCRIBED AND ALL PERSONS CLAIMING ANY RIGHT, TITLE OR INTEREST IN AND TO THE SAME ARE HELD IN CONTUMACY AND DEFAULT" AND THAT "THE AFORESAID AUTOMOBILE BE AND THE SAME IS HEREBY CONDEMNED AND FORFEITED TO THE UNITED STATES.' INASMUCH AS THE LIENOR DID NOT INTERVENE IN THE LIBEL PROCEEDINGS AND THE LIEN WAS NOT CONSIDERED BY THE COURT, THERE IS CONSIDERABLE DOUBT WHETHER THE LIEN HAS BEEN "RECOGNIZED AND ALLOWED PURSUANT TO LAW" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 304 OF THE LIQUOR LAW REPEAL AND ENFORCEMENT ACT, SUPRA, AND IT MAY BE THAT THE LIENOR'S RIGHTS HAVE BEEN FORECLOSED BY THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT.

THE APPROPRIATION " COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS" FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1947, 60 STAT. 572, 573, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

SALARIES AND EXPENSES: FOR COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS, FOR ENFORCEMENT, AS SPECIFIED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 9083, OF CERTAIN NAVIGATION LAWS, FOR THE DETECTION AND PREVENTION OF FRAUDS UPON THE CUSTOMS REVENUE, AND NOT TO EXCEED $100,000 FOR THE SECURING OF EVIDENCE OF VIOLATIONS OF THE CUSTOMS AND NAVIGATION LAWS; * * * FOR THE COST OF SEIZURE, STORAGE, AND DISPOSITION OF ANY MERCHANDISE, VEHICLE AND TEAM, AUTOMOBILE, BOAT, AIR OR WATER CRAFT, OR ANY OTHER CONVEYANCE SEIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CUSTOMS LAWS; * * *. IDENTICAL PROVISIONS WERE CONTAINED IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1944, 57 STAT. 256; 1945, 58 STAT. 200; AND 1946, 59 STAT. 60.

IN DECISION DATED APRIL 16, 1947, B-62620, TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, WITH RESPECT TO THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER PROPERTY SEIZED BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF TITLE VI OF THE ESPIONAGE ACT OF 1917 (SECTION 401, ET SEQ., TITLE 22, UNITED STATES CODE), MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN ,SEIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CUSTOMS LAWS," IT WAS STATED:

THE NEW CENTURY DICTIONARY (1938 EDITION) DEFINES THE WORD "CUSTOMS" AS "DUTIES IMPOSED BY LAW ON IMPORTED OR * * * EXPORTED GOODS; THE GOVERNMENTAL DEPARTMENT EMPLOYED IN COLLECTING SUCH DUTIES.' THE DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN HISTORY (1940 EDITION) LISTS AS ONE OF THE CHIEF FUNCTIONS OF CUSTOM HOUSES IN THE UNITED STATES "THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS RESTRICTING IMPORTS AND EXPORTS.' THUS, THE PHRASE "CUSTOMS LAWS" HAS AT LEAST TWO WELL-RECOGNIZED MEANINGS. FIRST, IT MAY REFER ONLY TO THOSE LAWS WHICH RELATE TO DUTIES IMPOSED ON IMPORTS OR EXPORTS; SECONDLY, IT MAY HAVE REFERENCE TO THOSE LAWS WHICH PERTAIN TO ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES GENERALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE GOVERNMENTAL DEPARTMENT EMPLOYED IN COLLECTING DUTIES ON IMPORTS OR EXPORTS--- IN THE UNITED STATES THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS--- INCLUDING THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS RESTRICTING IMPORTS OR EXPORTS. THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORIES OF VARIOUS ACTS APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE ACTIVITIES OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT WHICH HAVE BEEN PASSED SINCE MARCH 25, 1940, THE DATE OF THE PASSAGE OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1941, 54 STAT. 55, INDICATE THAT CONGRESS INTENDED THE PHRASE ,CUSTOMS LAWS" USED IN THE APPROPRIATION " COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS" APPEARING IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACTS PASSED SINCE SUCH DATE TO INCLUDE LAWS PERTAINING TO THE CONTROL OF EXPORTS. SEE THE TESTIMONY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, W. R. JOHNSON, IN HOUSE HEARINGS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1941, PAGE 224; HOUSE HEARINGS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1942, PAGES 205, 209; HOUSE HEARINGS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1943, PAGE 120; HOUSE HEARINGS, FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL NATIONAL DEFENSE APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1943, PAGE 110. SEE, ALSO, THE HOUSE REPORT ON THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1942, REPORT NO. 60 TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 3205, 77TH CONGRESS, ST SESSION, FEBRUARY 10, 1941, PAGE 9.

SINCE TITLE VI OF THE SO-CALLED ESPIONAGE ACT, SUPRA, AUTHORIZES THE SEIZURE OF GOODS SOUGHT TO BE EXPORTED IN VIOLATION OF LAW AND AUTHORIZES SEIZURES THEREOF TO BE MADE BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS, AS WELL AS BY MARSHALS, THAT ACT PARTAKES OF A "CUSTOMS LAW" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT PHRASE AS IT IS USED IN THE APPROPRIATION " COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS" APPEARING IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACTS PASSED SINCE MARCH 25, 1940. ACCORDINGLY, PROPERTY SEIZED BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF TITLE VIOF THE SO CALLED ESPIONAGE ACT, SUPRA, PROPERLY IS REGARDED AS "SEIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CUSTOMS LAWS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LANGUAGE USED IN THAT PROVISION OF THE CUSTOMS APPROPRIATION ACTS MENTIONED.

THUS, THE EXPENSE OF SEIZURE, STORAGE, AND DISPOSITION OF MERCHANDISE, VEHICLES AND TEAMS, AUTOMOBILES, BOATS, AIR OR WATER CRAFT, OR ANY OTHER CONVEYANCES SEIZED BY THE CUSTOMS OFFICERS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF TITLE VI OF THE ESPIONAGE ACT FOR THE VIOLATION OF THE EXPORT CONTROL ACT OF 1940 (SECTION 701, TITLE 50, U.S. CODE), ACCRUING PRIOR TO THE DATE ON WHICH PROCESS FOR THE ARREST OF SUCH PROPERTY IS SERVED BY A UNITED STATES MARSHAL OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSTITUTION OF IN REM PROCEEDINGS FOR FORFEITURE THEREOF--- OR, IF NO SUCH PROCESS BE ISSUED, PRIOR TO THE DATE ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TAKES POSSESSION THEREOF--- PROPERLY ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION " COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS.' EXPENSES ACCRUING THEREAFTER ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION " SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF MARSHALS, ETC., DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.' HOWEVER, THE CLAIM OF THE WEST PALM BEACH TERMINAL COMPANY DOES NOT INVOLVE AN EXPENSE OF SEIZURE, STORAGE, OR DISPOSITION, BUT INVOLVES, RATHER, EXPENSES--- OCEAN FREIGHT, CUBAN SURCHARGE, CUBAN TAXES, AND WHARFAGE--- WHICH APPARENTLY ACCRUED PRIOR TO THE SEIZURE OF THE AUTOMOBILE INVOLVED BY THE CUSTOMS OFFICIALS.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE AUTOMOBILE WAS SEIZED BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS ON MAY 20, 1946. THE " NOTICE OF LIEN FOR FREIGHT AND AFFIDAVIT OF CLAIMANT," FILED BY THE CLAIMANT WITH THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, IS DATED JULY 10, 1946, AND WAS SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO ON JULY 15, 1946. THE FINDING OF FACTS, CONCLUSION OF LAW AND JUDGMENT BY WHICH THE AUTOMOBILE WAS ORDERED FORFEITED AND DELIVERED TO THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, TAMPA, FLORIDA, FOR OFFICIAL USE, IS DATED OCTOBER 9, 1946. SECTION 564 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 1930 (SECTION 1564, TITLE 19, U.S. CODE), PROVIDES THAT THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS SHALL BE NOTIFIED IN WRITING OF THE EXISTENCE OF LIENS FOR FREIGHT, ETC., AND THAT "IF MERCHANDISE, REGARDING WHICH SUCH NOTICE OF LIEN HAS BEEN FILED, SHALL BE FORFEITED OR ABANDONED AND SOLD, THE FREIGHT CHARGE OR CONTRIBUTION IN GENERAL AVERAGE DUE THEREON SHALL BE PAID FROM THE RECEIPTS OF SUCH SALE IN THE SAME MANNER AS OTHER LAWFUL CHARGES AND EXPENSES ARE PAID THEREFROM.'

THE SEIZED PROPERTY HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION WAS TURNED OVER TO THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, TAMPA, FLORIDA, FOR OFFICIAL USE AND THERE WERE, THEREFORE, NO PROCEEDS OF SALE FOR DISTRIBUTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 564 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 1930, OR OTHERWISE. HOWEVER, SECTION 305 OF THE LIQUOR LAW REPEAL AND ENFORCEMENT ACT (SECTION 304J, TITLE 40, U.S. CODE) PROVIDES, WITH RESPECT TO SEIZED PROPERTY TURNED OVER TO A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, AS FOLLOWS: THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE TO ANY AGENCY FOR THE PURCHASE, HIRE OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF PROPERTY OF ANY KIND SHALL BE AVAILABLE * * * FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANY LIEN RECOGNIZED AND ALLOWED PURSUANT TO LAW * * *.

WHILE JUDGMENTS STRICTLY IN REM ORDINARILY ARE INTER OMNES, AND IRREVOCABLY DETERMINE THE STATUS OR TITLE OF THE RES AGAINST ALL PERSONS WHETHER THEY HAD OTHER THAN CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE LITIGATION, AND WHETHER THEY WERE PARTIES IN FACT, OR NOT ( CITY OF HUNTSVILLE V. GOODENRATH, 68 SO. 676), THE NOTICE OF THE LIEN HERE INVOLVED WAS TIMELY SERVED ON THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, PURSUANT TO SECTION 564 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 1930. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE AUTOMOBILE HAD BEEN BROUGHT BACK FROM CUBA TO WEST PALM BEACH BECAUSE OF AN INVESTIGATION BEING CONDUCTED INTO THE LEGALITY OF ITS EXPORTATION. THE EXPENSES HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION, WHILE NOT EXPENSES OF SEIZURE, ARE NEVERTHELESS EXPENSES INCURRED IN RETURNING THE AUTOMOBILE TO THE PLACE WHERE SEIZURE WAS EFFECTED. TO HOLD THAT AN AGENCY COULD TAKE FORFEITED PROPERTY FOR USE AND PLEAD ESTOPPEL INTER OMNES TO AVOID PAYING EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, OF WHICH IT HAD BEEN DULY NOTIFIED AS PROVIDED BY LAW, WOULD BE IN DIRECT CONTRAVENTION OF THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS THAT AGENCIES TO WHOM FORFEITED PROPERTY IS AWARDED FOR USE SHOULD PAY VALID LIENS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, AS EVIDENCED BY THE ENACTMENT OF SECTION 305 OF THE LIQUOR LAW REPEAL AND ENFORCEMENT ACT, SUPRA.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE ARTICLES SEIZED BY CUSTOMS OFFICIALS AND FORFEITED UDER TITLE VI OF THE ESPIONAGE ACT FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE EXPORT CONTROL ACT ARE SEIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CUSTOMS LAWS, AND SINCE THE AUTOMOBILE INVOLVED WAS TURNED OVER TO THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS FOR USE, THE CLAIM OF THE WEST PALM BEACH TERMINAL COMPANY WILL BE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION," COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS.' SIMILARLY, SO MUCH OF THE OTHER CLAIMS, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER AS PENDING IN THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE, AS REPRESENT EXPENSES OF SEIZURE, STORAGE, AND DISPOSITION OF SEIZED MERCHANDISE OR ARTICLES, ACCRUED PRIOR TO THE DATE ON WHICH PROCESS FOR THE ARREST OF SUCH PROPERTY WAS SERVED BY THE UNITED STATES MARSHAL, OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSTITUTION OF IN REM PROCEEDINGS FOR FORFEITURE THEREOF, OR, IF NO SUCH PROCESS BE ISSUED, PRIOR TO THE DATE ON WHICH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TOOK POSSESSION THEREOF, WILL BE PAID FROM THAT APPROPRIATION. CF. 14 COMP. GEN. 880.