49 USC 5905 - Liens

(a) General.— 
If a person involved in the intermodal transportation of a loaded container or trailer for which a certification is required by section 5902 (b) of this title is required, because of a violation of a States gross vehicle weight laws or regulations, to post a bond or pay a fine, penalty, cost (including storage), or interest resulting from
(1) erroneous information provided by the certifying party in the certification to the first carrier in violation of section 5903 (a) of this title;
(2) the failure of the party required to provide the certification to the first carrier to provide it;
(3) the failure of a person required under section 5902 (c) to forward the certification to forward it; or

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(4) an error occurring in the transfer of information on the certification to another document under section 5902 (b)(3) or (c),

then the person posting the bond, or paying the fine, penalty, costs (including storage), or interest has a lien against the contents equal to the amount of the bond, fine, penalty, cost (including storage), or interest incurred, until the person receives a payment of that amount from the owner or beneficial owner of the contents, or from the person responsible for making or forwarding the certification, or transferring the information from the certification to another document.

(b) Limitations.— 

(1) A lien under this section does not authorize a person to dispose of the contents of a loaded container or trailer until the person who tendered the container or trailer to the first carrier, or the owner or beneficial owner of the contents, is given a reasonable opportunity to establish responsibility for the bond, fine, penalty, cost (including storage), or interest. The lien shall remain in effect until the lien holder has received payment for all costs and expenses described in subsection (a) of this section.
(2) In this section, an owner or beneficial owner of the contents of a container or trailer or a person tendering a container or trailer to the first carrier is deemed not to be a person involved in the intermodal transportation of the container or trailer.