Authority of the Customs Service to Seize or Forfeit Property Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881

Headnotes: 

The Customs Service does not have independent authority to make seizures or forfeitures pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881. Accordingly, the Customs Service should seize or forfeit property pursuant to that section only under the supervision of the Drug Enforcement Administration and by direct or derivative designation of the Attorney General.

The proceeds of property forfeited after a seizure by the Customs Service must be deposited in the Customs Forfeiture Fund, rather than in the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund, when the seizure was made under a law administered or enforced by Customs, or custody was maintained by Customs, regardless of whether the forfeiture was handled by Justice.

Updated July 9, 2014