Duties and Customs

Editor’s note: Former chapter 2 of this title on Import and Export Taxes (§§ 201-205) was repealed in its entirety by PL 9-139 § 2.


General Provisions


§ 211. Short title.
§ 212. Definitions.
§ 213. Limitations on liability.

§ 211. Short title.

This chapter may be cited as the “Customs Act of 1996".

Source: PL 9-139 § 5.

§ 212. Definitions.

In this chapter, except where otherwise specified, the following terms shall have the meanings stated below:

(1) “Ad valorem” (Latin for “according to the value”) means a tax imposed at a rate equal to a percentage of value.

(2) “Aircraft” includes airplanes, seaplanes, airships, balloons or any other means of aerial locomotion.

(3) “Airport” means an official port of entry for aircraft as identified in or pursuant to title 18 of this code and amendments thereto.

(4) “Approved form” means a form approved by the Secretary of Finance.

(5) “Arrival” means the first time goods or passengers become subject to Customs control within the FSM or any subsequent time before reaching their final destination.

(6) “Cannabis” means a cannabis plant, whether living or dead, which includes, in any form, any flowering or fruiting tops, leaves, seeds, stalks or any other part of a cannabis plant and any mixture of parts of a cannabis plant.

(7) “CIF” means “costs, insurance, and freight” incurred for imported goods, and includes all costs and charges associated with the goods up through the time they are delivered to and unloaded at an FSM port of entry or post office.

(8) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Customs.

(9) “Congress” means the Congress of the FSM.

(10) “Container” means an article of transport equipment:

(a) of a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use;

(b) specially designed to facilitate the transport of goods, by one or more modes of transport, without intermediate reloading; and

(c) designed to be secured and/or readily handled, having corner fittings for these purposes.

(d) In addition, the following shipping term used with containers has the following meaning: “CY-CY” means all the goods packed in the container are for the one consignee and the container is consigned from container yard to another container yard and will not normally be unpacked at the wharf.

Editor’s note: Former subsection 212(10)(d)(i) has been incorporated into the main body of subsubsection 212(10)(d) for format consistency.

(11) “Controlled substance” means those described in sections 1119, 1121, 1123, 1125, and 1127 of title 11 of this code or successor provision of law.

(12) “Customs” means the FSM Department of Finance, Division of Customs.

(13) “Customs officer” means a person:

(a) employed by the FSM Department of Finance, Division of Customs;

(b) authorized in writing by the Secretary under this chapter to perform all of the functions of a Customs officer; or

(c) deputized in accordance with the provisions of section 268 of this chapter.

(14) “Duty” means any tax payable on the importation of goods, and “dutiable goods” means those goods subject to tax on their importation.

(15) “FOB” (“free on board”) means the value of goods when shipped for export, and includes all costs and charges up to the time of delivery of the goods on board the exporting vessel or aircraft.

(16) “Forfeiture” means the surrender of ownership of property to the FSM government following a breach of certain provisions of this chapter; it is independent of and in addition to any penalty imposed by this chapter.

(17) “FSM” means the Federated States of Micronesia.

(18) “Goods” means any type of merchandise, product, commodity, vehicle, moveable personal property, or commercial wares.

(19) “Importer” means any person by or for whom any goods are imported, and includes the consignee and any other person who is beneficially interested in the goods.

(20) “Master” means:

(a) In relation to a vessel the person in charge or command of the vessel;

(b) In relation to an installation the person in charge of the installation.

(21) “Narcotic drug” means those described in subsection (15) of section 1112 of title 11 of this code or successor provision of law.

(22) “On or about the body” means on or within the body, clothing, footwear, purse, handbag, or similar article.

(23) “Owner” means:

(a) In respect to goods, any person being or holding himself or herself out to be the owner, importer, exporter, consignee, agent or person possessed of, or having control of, or power of disposition over the goods;

(b) In respect of a vessel or aircraft, the owner of record, or a person acting as agent on behalf of the owner of record.

(24) “Package” includes every means by which goods for transportation may be cased, covered, enclosed, contained, or packed.

(25) “Person” means any individual, company, corporation, partnership, unincorporated association, or other business entity.

(26) “Pilot” means the person in charge or in command of an aircraft.

(27) “Place” means any location, building or site, and includes moveable locations such as a vessel or aircraft.

(28) “Port” or “Port of entry” means an official port of entry identified in or pursuant to title 18 of this code and amendments thereto.

(29) “President” means the President of the FSM.

(30) “Prohibited goods” means any goods the importation or exportation of which is prohibited under FSM law.

(31) “Regulations” means any regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter.

(32) “Secretary” means the Secretary of the FSM Department of Finance.

(33) “Smuggling” means any importation or exportation, attempted importation or exportation, with the intent to defraud the FSM.

(34) “Stamp” means device or instrument used by a Customs officer to make a distinctive impression or imprint, to identify and evidence the clearance of imported or exported goods and the clearance of vessels or aircraft.

(35) “Unlawfully imported, exported, or carried goods” means any smuggled goods and any goods imported, exported, or carried in breach of the provisions of this chapter, or any other law of the FSM, or whose sale, possession or use is prohibited or contrary to restrictions imposed by the State into which the importation took place. The above defined phrase carries a like meaning wherever similarly stated in this chapter.

(36) “Vehicle” means every description of motorized carriage or other contrivance used or capable of being used as a means of transport on land.

Source: PL 9-139 § 6, modified.

Cross-reference: Title 11 of this code is on Crimes. Title 18 of this code is on Territory, Economic Zones and Ports of Entry.

§ 213. Limitations on liability.

A Customs officer acting in good faith and according to the provisions of this chapter shall be immune from civil suit. The FSM Government is not liable for any loss or damage to any goods subject to the control of Customs except by the gross negligence or willful wrong of a Custom officer.

Source: PL 9-139 § 7.

Cross-reference: The statutory provisions on the President and Executive are found in title 2 of this code.

Editor’s note: The word “Liability” in the title of this section has been changed to “liability” for grammatical consistency.