Customs (Amendment) Act, 1942

Power of search in relation to unlawful exportation.

1.—(1) In this section—

the expression “officer of customs and excise” includes a member of the Gárda Síochána and any person in the public service who is for the time being employed in the prevention of the illegal importation or exportation of goods;

references to the searching of a person include the opening (if necessary by force) and searching of any box, bag, package, or other article carried by such person.

(2) This section applies to all goods the exportation of which is for the time being prohibited by law or for the exportation of which a licence or other special authorisation is for the time being required by law.

(3) An officer of customs and excise or a person acting on the instructions of an officer of customs and excise may (subject to the provisions of this section) search any person whom such officer reasonably suspects of carrying or having in his possession any goods to which this section applies for the purpose or with the intent of exporting such goods or of bringing them to any place for exportation or of otherwise aiding, abetting, or procuring the exportation thereof.

(4) Whenever an officer of customs and excise proposes to search, or cause to be searched, any person, that person may demand that he be brought before a collector or other superior officer of customs and excise, whereupon the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

(a) such officer of customs and excise shall, with all reasonable speed and before searching him or causing him to be searched, bring such person before a collector or other superior officer of customs and excise;

(b) such superior officer shall hear the representations of such officer and of such person and shall either, as he shall think proper, direct that such person be discharged without being searched or direct that he be searched forthwith;

(c) every direction given under the next preceding paragraph of this sub-section by any such superior officer as aforesaid shall be complied with by all persons concerned.

(5) No female person shall be searched under this section otherwise than by a woman.

(6) Every person who obstructs, resists, or interferes with an officer of customs and excise in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by this section or, in particular, refuses to be or resists being searched under this section, shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a customs penalty not exceeding one hundred pounds.