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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.
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 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.
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 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
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. 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
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 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 Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
ISLAMABAD -- Owing to the stringent enforcement measures of Pakistan Customs against smuggling, the of seizure of smuggled goods has registered an increase of 20 percent in terms of value for the period July-April (2018-19) compared to corresponding period of previous year.
This is because the customs department presents its performance based on the price and market value of smuggled goods, while less attention is given to raw quantities.
'There were many who owned the smuggled cigarettes, so what our units did, they confiscated all the items and properly turned them over to the Bureau of Customs in Zamboanga City for proper disposition,' Gonzaga said.
These illegal petroleum agencies running several petrol mumps were the main beneficiaries of the smuggled petrol and diesel as they would purchase the fuel for Rs20 to Rs30 per litre.
It should also be ensured that smuggled tyres don't come in through the Border Check Posts at Chamman and Landi Kotal.
And the report from MCC Preventive, Karachi said the share of smuggled televisions in the country was 57 percent and the rest was reached via domestic production constituting 37 percent share and imports 6 percent.
He added that the companies involved in the smuggling to Lebanon were forced to pay fines that are equal to the value of the smuggled goods.
Worth of legal imported soap container is 4,753,812 rupees while worth of illegal smuggled container is 4,093,390 rupees, if one 40 feet container has smuggled it bestow 660,422 rupees loss to government treason.
Another Philippine Peso30 billion (Dh2.5 billion) worth of petroleum products were smuggled into the country last 2012, So said, adding his data came from the Bureau of Customs and oil players in the Philippines.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- The number of cigarettes smuggled into Turkey by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has increased by roughly 40 times in the past 10 years, while the police and gendarmerie have further strengthened their crackdown on smuggled tobacco, bringing the number of seized cigarette packs to more than 326 million over the same period.
About $16 billion worth of foreign goods are smuggled into Iran annually, according to a senior police officer.