2005 Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Chapter 2 - PART T - OFFENSES INVOLVING
§2T3.1. Evading Import Duties
or Restrictions (Smuggling); Receiving or Trafficking in Smuggled Property
(a) Base Offense Level:
(1) The level from §2T4.1 (Tax Table) corresponding to the tax loss,
if the tax loss exceeded $1,000; or
(2) 5, if the tax loss exceeded $100
but did not exceed $1,000; or
(3) 4, if the tax loss did not exceed
For purposes of this guideline, the "tax loss" is the amount of the duty.
(b) Specific Offense Characteristic
(1) If the offense involved sophisticated means, increase by 2 levels.
If the resulting offense level is less than level 12,
increase to level 12.
(c) Cross Reference
(1) If the offense involves a contraband item covered by another offense
guideline, apply that offense guideline if the resulting offense level is
greater than that determined above.
Statutory Provisions: 18
U.S.C. §§ 496, 541-545, 547, 548, 550, 551, 1915; 19 U.S.C. §§ 283,
1436, 1464, 1465, 1586(e), 1708(b). For additional statutory provision(s), see Appendix
A (Statutory Index).
1. A sentence at or near the minimum of the guideline range typically would
be appropriate for cases involving tourists who bring in items for their own
use. Such conduct generally poses a lesser threat to revenue collection.
2. Particular attention should be given to those items for which entry is
prohibited, limited, or restricted. Especially when such items are harmful
or protective quotas are in effect, the duties evaded on such items may not
adequately reflect the harm to society or protected industries resulting from
their importation. In such instances, an upward departure may be warranted.
A sentence based upon an alternative measure of the
"duty" evaded, such as the increase in market value due to importation, or
25 percent of the items’ fair market value in the United States if the
increase in market value due to importation is not readily ascertainable, might
3. Sophisticated Means.—For
purposes of subsection (b)(1),
"sophisticated means" means especially complex or especially intricate offense
conduct pertaining to the execution or concealment of an offense. Conduct such
as hiding assets or transactions, or both, through the use of fictitious entities,
corporate shells, or offshore financial accounts ordinarily indicates sophisticated
Historical Note: Effective
November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix
C, amendment 235); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix
C, amendment 410); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix
C, amendment 453); November 1, 1998 (see Appendix
C, amendment 577); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix
C, amendment 617).