Section 553(a) of Title 18 makes it a crime to knowingly import or export, or attempt to import or export: (1) any motor vehicle, off-highway mobile equipment, vessel, or aircraft, or a part thereof, knowing it to have been stolen; or (2) any motor vehicle or off-highway mobile equipment, or a part thereof, knowing that the identification number has been removed, obliterated, tampered with, or altered.
Section 553(b) of Title 18 provides that subsection (a)(2) does not apply if the vehicle identification number has been removed, obliterated, tampered with, or altered by a collision or fire, or in a manner that does not violate 18 U.S.C. § 511.
Section 553(c) of Title 18 contains the definitions of "motor vehicle," "off-highway mobile equipment," "vessel," "aircraft," and "identification number." The term "motor vehicle" only covers those vehicles intended to be driven or pulled on the public roads. See 18 U.S.C. § 511(c)(2) and 49 U.S.C. § 32101(7). The term "off-highway mobile equipment" covers self-propelled construction and farming equipment.
For a discussion of proving a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 553, see this Manual at 1377.
[cited in USAM 9-61.700]