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smuggling,illegal transport across state or national boundaries of goods or persons liable to customs or to prohibition. Smuggling has been carried on in nearly all nations and has occasionally been adopted as an instrument of national policy, as by Great Britain against Spain and France in the 18th and 19th cent. The restrictive economic policies of mercantilismmercantilism
, economic system of the major trading nations during the 16th, 17th, and 18th cent., based on the premise that national wealth and power were best served by increasing exports and collecting precious metals in return.
..... Click the link for more information. in the 17th and 18th cent. gave rise to smuggling in France, the Spanish colonies, and North America. British attempts to halt the practice by stringent enforcement of the Navigation ActsNavigation Acts,
in English history, name given to certain parliamentary legislation, more properly called the British Acts of Trade. The acts were an outgrowth of mercantilism, and followed principles laid down by Tudor and early Stuart trade regulations.
..... Click the link for more information. were a contributory cause of the American Revolution. Napoleon's decrees attempting to seal off the European continent from British commerce gave rise to widespread smuggling in the early 19th cent. Britain, source of free-trade philosophy, has been more liberal in her antismuggling laws than other nations; the practice was condoned in a famous passage by Adam SmithSmith, Adam,
1723–90, Scottish economist, educated at Glasgow and Oxford. He became professor of moral philosophy at the Univ. of Glasgow in 1752, and while teaching there wrote his Theory of Moral Sentiments
..... Click the link for more information. . Smuggling into the United States flourished in the prohibitionprohibition,
legal prevention of the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, the extreme of the regulatory liquor laws. The modern movement for prohibition had its main growth in the United States and developed largely as a result of the agitation of
..... Click the link for more information. era and was carried on practically with impunity from overseas and overland from Canada. Illegal entry of immigrants into the United States has also presented a problem during periods of curtailment of immigration, as at the end of World War I and in recent years. Luxury articles, stolen art and other goods, electronic devices and software, and specifically prohibited items such as narcotics are smuggled worldwide. The U.S. Coast Guard has the suppression of smuggling as one of its chief activities. U.S. law declares the article smuggled to be forfeit and the smuggler liable to a fine or imprisonment, or both. Examples of the smuggling of persons are the slave trade to the United States and Latin America following its outlawing by the great powers in the early 19th cent. and the traffic in women for immoral purposes, contrary to international convention.
See J. J. Farjeon, The Compleat Smuggler (1938); N. Williams, Contraband Cargoes (1959); T. Green, The Smugglers (1969); H. Waters, Smugglers of Spirits (1971).
the illegal transfer of goods, valuables, or other articles across a country’s border, that is, transferring them in violation of customs legislation.
Under Soviet law a distinction is made between smuggling punishable under administrative law and under criminal law. In addition to the illegal transfer of goods across the USSR state border, administratively punishable smuggling is deemed to be the storage, transfer, or purchase of smuggled goods on USSR territory and the illegal export, import, shipping, or remittance abroad or from abroad of currency or currency valuables (Customs Code of the USSR, art. 100). Depending on the circumstances of the case, such smuggling is punishable by confiscation of the smuggled articles, as well as the means of transport or other means used in the smuggling; by collection of the approximate value of the smuggled goods in the event that confiscation is not feasible; or by a fine.
Criminal liability for smuggling is provided for under Article 15 of the Law on Criminal Responsibility for State Crimes of 1958, as well as by the criminal codes of Union republics (for example, the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, art. 78). Smuggling is defined as the illegal transfer of goods or other valuables across the USSR state border, committed by hiding the smuggled articles in special containers, or by fraudulent use of customs or other documents, or on a large scale, or by a group of persons organized for the purpose of smuggling, or by an official using his official position. Smuggling is also the illegal transfer of explosives, narcotics, virulent or poisonous substances, or arms and military equipment. The criminal punishment for smuggling is deprivation of freedom for a term of three to ten years with confiscation of property and with or without exile for a term of two to five years.