(June 8, 1938, ch. 327, Sec. 1, 52 Stat. 631; Aug. 7, 1939, ch.
521, Sec. 1, 53 Stat. 1244; Apr. 29, 1942, ch. 263, Sec. 1, 56
Stat. 249; Proc. No. 2695, July 4, 1946, 11 F.R. 7517, 60 Stat.
1352; Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, Sec. 20(a), 64 Stat. 1005;
Aug. 1, 1956, ch. 849, Sec. 1, 70 Stat. 899; Pub. L. 87-366, Sec.
1, Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 784; Pub. L. 89-486, Sec. 1, July 4,
1966, 80 Stat. 244; Pub. L. 91-375, Sec. 6(k), Aug. 12, 1970, 84
Stat. 782; Pub. L. 104-65, Sec. 9(1), Dec. 19, 1995, 109 Stat.
REFERENCES IN TEXT
For definition of Canal Zone, referred to in subsec. (m), see
section 3602(b) of this title.
Words "including the Philippine Islands," omitted from definition
of "United States" in subsec. (m) pursuant to Proc. No. 2695, which
granted independence to the Philippines under the authority of
section 1394 of this title, under which section Proc. No. 2695 is
set out as a note.
1995 - Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 104-65, Sec. 9(1)(A), struck out
subsec. (j) which read as follows: "The term 'political propaganda'
includes any oral, visual, graphic, written, pictorial, or other
communication or expression by any person (1) which is reasonably
adapted to, or which the person disseminating the same believes
will, or which he intends to, prevail upon, indoctrinate, convert,
induce, or in any other way influence a recipient or any section of
the public within the United States with reference to the political
or public interests, policies, or relations of a government of a
foreign country or a foreign political party or with reference to
the foreign policies of the United States or promote in the United
States racial, religious, or social dissensions, or (2) which
advocates, advises, instigates, or promotes any racial, social,
political, or religious disorder, civil riot, or other conflict
involving the use of force or violence in any other American
republic or the overthrow of any government or political
subdivision of any other American republic by any means involving
the use of force or violence. As used in this subsection the term
'disseminating' includes transmitting or causing to be transmitted
in the United States mails or by any means or instrumentality of
interstate or foreign commerce or offering or causing to be offered
in the United States mails;".
Subsec. (o). Pub. L. 104-65, Sec. 9(1)(B), substituted "any
activity that the person engaging in believes will, or that the
person intends to, in any way influence" for "the dissemination of
political propaganda and any other activity which the person
engaging therein believes will, or which he intends to, prevail
upon, indoctrinate, convert, induce, persuade, or in any other way
Subsec. (p). Pub. L. 104-65, Sec. 9(1)(C), substituted a period
for semicolon at end.
Subsec. (q). Pub. L. 104-65, Sec. 9(1)(D), struck out subsec. (q)
which read as follows: "For the purpose of section 613(d) of this
title, activities in furtherance of the bona fide commercial,
industrial or financial interests of a domestic person engaged in
substantial commercial, industrial or financial operations in the
United States shall not be deemed to serve predominantly a foreign
interest because such activities also benefit the interests of a
foreign person engaged in bona fide trade or commerce which is
owned or controlled by, or which owns or controls, such domestic
person: Provided, That (i) such foreign person is not, and such
activities are not directly or indirectly supervised, directed,
controlled, financed or subsidized in whole or in substantial part
by, a government of a foreign country or a foreign political party,
(ii) the identity of such foreign person is disclosed to the agency
or official of the United States with whom such activities are
conducted, and (iii) whenever such foreign person owns or controls
such domestic person, such activities are substantially in
furtherance of the bona fide commercial, industrial or financial
interests of such domestic person."
1970 - Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 91-375 substituted "file with the
United States Postal Service information in compliance with section
3611 of title 39" for "file with the Postmaster General a sworn
statement in compliance with section 2 of the Act of August 24,
1912 (37 Stat. 553), as amended".
1966 - Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89-486, Sec. 1(1), redesignated
former pars. (3) and (4) as (2) and (3), substituted in such par.
(3) "combination of persons" for "combination of individuals" and
struck out from definition of "foreign principal" former pars. (2),
(5), and (6) which included "(2) an individual affiliated or
associated with, or supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or
subsidized, in whole or in part, by any foreign principal defined
in clause (1) of this subsection"; "(5) a domestic partnership,
association, corporation, organization, or other combination of
individuals, subsidized directly or indirectly, in whole or in
part, by any foreign principal defined in clause (1), (3), or (4)
of this subsection"; and "(6) a domestic partnership, association,
corporation, or other combination of individuals, supervised,
directed, controlled, or financed, in whole or in substantial part,
by any foreign government or foreign political party".
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89-486, Sec. 1(2), amended provisions
generally to redefine "agent of a foreign principal" by specifying
four categories of activities creating the agency relationship
where person acts as agent, employee, representative, or servant or
at the order of, or under the control of, a foreign principal, by
requiring a showing not only of foreign connections but also of
certain activities performed by the agent for foreign interests, by
making change as it relates to problem of indirect control exerted
by foreign principals over their agents, by including political
activities and actions as political consultant, by excluding
attorneys from the relationship, by incorporating provisions of
former par. (3) in par. (2) where a person assumes or purports to
act as an agent of a foreign principal, and by eliminating the
separate category for military or governmental officials contained
in former par. (4).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89-486, Sec. 1(3), struck out "clause (1),
(2), or (4) of" before "subsection (b)".
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 89-486, Sec. 1(4), inserted "public
relations" before "matter pertaining to" and "of such principal"
after "or relations".
Subsecs. (o) to (q). Pub. L. 89-486, Sec. 1(5), added subsecs.
(o) to (q).
1961 - Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 87-366 added par. (6).
1956 - Subsec. (c)(5). Act Aug. 1, 1956, repealed par. (5) which
included within definition of "agent of a foreign principal" any
person trained in foreign espionage systems with certain
exceptions. See sections 851 and 852 of Title 50, War and National
1950 - Subsec. (c)(5). Act Sept. 23, 1950, added par. (5).
1942 - Act Apr. 29, 1942, amended section generally to redefine
terms used in this subchapter.
1939 - Act Aug. 7, 1939, amended section generally to redefine
terms used in this subchapter.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1995 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 104-65 effective Jan. 1, 1996, except as
otherwise provided, see section 24 of Pub. L. 104-65, set out as an
Effective Date note under section 1601 of Title 2, The Congress.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1970 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 91-375 effective within 1 year after Aug.
12, 1970, on date established therefor by Board of Governors of
United States Postal Service and published by it in Federal
Register, see section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91-375, set out as an
Effective Date note preceding section 101 of Title 39, Postal
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1966 AMENDMENT
Section 9 of Pub. L. 89-486 provided that: "This Act [enacting
sections 219 and 613 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure,
and amending this section and sections 612 to 616 and 618 of this
title] shall take effect ninety days after the date of its
enactment [July 4, 1966]."
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1942 AMENDMENT
Section 3 of act Apr. 29, 1942, provided that: "This Act
[amending this subchapter] shall take effect on the sixtieth day
after the date of its approval, except that prior to such sixtieth
day the Attorney General may make, prescribe, amend, and rescind
such rules, regulations, and forms as may be necessary to carry out
the provisions of this Act [amending this subchapter]."
Section 7 of act June 8, 1938, provided that: "This Act [enacting
this subchapter] shall take effect on the ninetieth day after the
date of its enactment [June 8, 1938]."
Section 14 of act June 8, 1938, as added by act Apr. 29, 1942,
Sec. 1, provided that: "This Act [enacting this subchapter] may be
cited as the 'Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as
SEPARABILITY; EFFECT ON EXISTING LAW
Sections 12 and 13 of act June 8, 1938, as added by act Apr. 29,
1942, Sec. 1, provided that:
"Sec. 12. If any provision of this Act [enacting this
subchapter], or the application thereof to any person or
circumstances, is held invalid, the remainder of the Act, and the
application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances,
shall not be affected thereby.
"Sec. 13. This Act [enacting this subchapter] is an addition to
and not in substitution for any other existing statute."
TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS
Section 2 of act Apr. 29, 1942, provided that: "Upon the
effective date of this Act [see Effective Date of 1942 Amendment
note above], all powers, duties, and functions of the Secretary of
State under the Act of June 8, 1938 (52 Stat. 631), as amended
[this subchapter], shall be transferred to and become vested in the
Attorney General, together with all property, books, records, and
unexpended balances of appropriations used by or available to the
Secretary of State for carrying out the functions devolving on him
under the above-cited Act. All rules, regulations, and forms which
have been issued by the Secretary of State pursuant to the
provisions of said Act, and which are in effect, shall continue in
effect until modified, superseded, revoked, or repealed."
POLICY AND PURPOSE OF SUBCHAPTER
Act Apr. 29, 1942, amending generally act June 8, 1938, added an
opening paragraph preceding section 1 of the latter act and reading
as follows: "It is hereby declared to be the policy and purpose of
this Act [enacting this subchapter] to protect the national
defense, internal security, and foreign relations of the United
States by requiring public disclosure by persons engaging in
propaganda activities and other activities for or on behalf of
foreign governments, foreign political parties, and other foreign
principals so that the Government and the people of the United
States may be informed of the identity of such persons and may
appraise their statements and actions in the light of their
associations and activities."
(footnote 1) So in original. Probably should be "Except".
(footnote 2) So in original. Probably should be section "3685".