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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of January 16, 2020

Title 25Chapter ISubchapter G → Part 140


Title 25: Indians


PART 140—LICENSED INDIAN TRADERS


Contents
§140.1   Sole power to appoint.
§140.2   Presidential prohibition.
§140.3   Forfeiture of goods.
§140.5   Bureau of Indian Affairs employees not to contract or trade with Indians except in certain cases.
§140.9   Application for license.
§140.11   License period.
§140.12   License renewal.
§140.13   Power to close unlicensed stores.
§140.14   Trade limited to specified premises.
§140.15   License applicable for trading only by original licensee.
§140.16   Trade in annuities or gratuities prohibited.
§140.17   Tobacco sales to minors.
§140.18   Intoxicating liquors.
§140.19   Drugs.
§140.21   Gambling.
§140.22   Inspection of traders' prices.
§140.23   Credit at trader's risk.
§140.24   Cash payments only to Indians.
§140.25   Trade in antiquities prohibited.
§140.26   Infectious plants.

Authority: Sec. 5, 19 Stat. 200, sec. 1, 31 Stat. 1066 as amended; 25 U.S.C. 261, 262; 94 Stat. 544, 18 U.S.C. 437; 25 U.S.C. 2 and 9; 5 U.S.C. 301; and Sec. 701, Pub. L. 114-74, 129 Stat. 599, unless otherwise noted.

Cross References: For law and order regulations on Indian Reservations, see part 11 of this chapter. For regulations pertaining to business practices on Navajo, Hopi and Zuni reservations, see part 141 of this chapter. For additional regulation of certain employees trading with Indians, see 43 CFR part 20.735-28 and 29.

Source: 22 FR 10670, Dec. 24, 1957, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 47 FR 13327, Mar. 30, 1982.

§140.1   Sole power to appoint.

The Commissioner of Indian Affairs shall have the sole power and authority to appoint traders to the Indian tribes. Any person desiring to trade with the Indians on any reservation may, upon establishing the fact, to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, that he is a proper person to engage in such trade, be permitted to do so under such rules and regulations as the Commissioner of Indian Affairs may prescribe.

§140.2   Presidential prohibition.

The President is authorized, whenever in his opinion the public interest may require, to prohibit the introduction of goods, or of any particular articles, into the country belonging to any Indian tribe, and to direct that all licenses to trade with such tribe be revoked, and all applications therefor rejected. No trader shall, so long as such prohibition exists, trade with any Indians of or for said tribe.

(R.S. 2132; 25 U.S.C. 263)

§140.3   Forfeiture of goods.

Any person other than an Indian of the full blood who shall attempt to reside in the Indian country, or on any Indian reservation, as a trader, or to introduce goods, or to trade therein, without a license, shall forfeit all merchandise offered for sale to the Indians or found in his possession, and shall moreover be liable to a penalty of $1,329: Provided, That this section shall not apply to any person residing among or trading with the Choctaws, Cherokee, Chickasaws, Creeks, or Seminoles, commonly called the Five Civilized Tribes: And provided further, That no white person shall be employed as a clerk by any Indian trader, except as such trade with said Five Civilized Tribes, unless first authorized so to do by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

(R.S. 2133, as amended; 25 U.S.C. 264)

[22 FR 10670, Dec. 24, 1957, as amended at 81 FR 42481, June 30, 2016; 82 FR 7652, Jan. 23, 2017; 83 FR 5195, Feb. 6, 2018; 84 FR 15101, Apr. 15, 2019]

§140.5   Bureau of Indian Affairs employees not to contract or trade with Indians except in certain cases.

(a) Definitions of terms as used in this part:

(1) Indian means any member of an Indian tribe recognized as eligible for the services provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs who is residing on a Federal Indian Reservation, on land held in trust by the United States for Indians, or on land subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States. The term shall also include any such tribe and any Indian owned or controlled organization located on such a reservation or land.

(2) Bureau or the “Bureau of Indian Affairs” means the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, both in the Department of the Interior.

(3) Employee means an officer, employee, or agent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

(4) Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

(5) Contract means any agreement made or under negotiation with any Indian for the purchase, transportation or delivery of goods or supplies.

(6) Trading means buying, selling, bartering, renting, leasing, permitting and any other transaction involving the acquisition of property or services.

(7) Commercial trading means any trading transaction where an employee engages in the business of buying or selling services or items which he/she is trading.

(b) With the exceptions provided in subsection (b) of section 437 of title 18 U.S. Code, section 437 provides that whoever, being an officer, employee, or agent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has (other than as a lawful representative of the United States) any interest, in such officer, employee, or agent's name, or in the name of another person where such officer, employee, or agent benefits or appears to benefit from such interest:

(1) In any contract made or under negotiation with any Indian, for the purchase, transportation or delivery of goods or supplies for any Indian, or

(2) In any purchase or sale of any service or real or personal property (or any interest therein) from or to any Indian, or colludes with any person attempting to obtain any such contract, purchase, or sale, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than six months or both, and shall be removed from office, notwithstanding any other provision of law concerning termination from Federal employment.

(c) The further subsections of this section authorize certain employees contracting and trading with Indians as authorized by the exceptions in section 437 of title 18 U.S. Code. All such contracting and trading is subject to the express provision of section 437 that none of the sales or purchases so authorized may be made if the purpose of any such sale, trade, or purchase is that of commercially selling, reselling, trading, or bartering such property.

(d)(1) Under authority granted by section 437(b)(1) of title 18 U.S. Code, employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs may with the approval of an authorized officer of the Bureau, as designated in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, purchase from or sell to an Indian any service or any real or personal property, not held in trust by the United States or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States, or any interest in such property. In addition, employees may purchase from Indians without approval from an authorized officer of the Bureau any non-trust or unrestricted personal property for home use or consumption the value of which property does not exceed $1000. Where the purchase or sale price is less than $1,000, employees may also purchase motor vehicles for their personal use from Indians or sell their personal motor vehicles to Indians without obtaining approval of such purchases or sales from an authorized officer of the Bureau. Approval must be obtained if the purchase or sale price is $1,000 or more.

(2) As used in paragraph (d)(1) of this section an authorized officer of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for employees on reservations and in agencies or in field service units shall be the superintendent or other officer in charge of the unit in which the employee is employed. The authorized officer for the superintendent or officer in charge is his or her immediate supervisor. The authorized officer for employees in area offices is the Area Director, and the authorized officer for an Area Director is his or her immediate supervisor. The authorized officer for employees in the Central Office is the Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs (Operations).

(e) No employee of the Bureau of Indian Affairs may have any interest in any purchase or sale involving property or funds which are either held in trust by the United States for Indians or which are purchased, sold, utilized, or received in connection with a contract or grant to an Indian from the Bureau if such employee is employed in the office or installation of the Bureau which recommends, approves, executes, or administers such transaction, grant, or contract on behalf of the United States, except that, as authorized by section 437(b)(1) of title 18 U.S. Code an employee of the Bureau may have such an interest if such purchase or sale is approved by an authorized officer of the Bureau, as designated in paragraphs (e) (3) to (5) of this section, and the conditions in (e) (1) and (2) of this section are satisfied to the extent to which they are applicable to the transaction concerned:

(1) The conveyance or granting of any interest in property held in trust or subject to restriction against alienation imposed by the United States is otherwise authorized by law.

(2) Trading by employees with Indians which involves property or funds which are either held in trust by the United States or are subject to restrictions against alienation imposed by the United States must be conducted on the basis of sealed bid or public auction. If the trading involves leases or sales of trust or restricted Indian land it must be conducted on the basis of sealed bids. Such requirements for sealed bid or public auction may only be waived by the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs on the basis of a full report showing:

(i) The need for the transaction,

(ii) The benefits accruing to both parties,

(iii) That the consideration for the proposed transaction shall be not less than the fair market value of the trust or restricted property or interest therein, unless the employee is involved in a transaction in accordance with §152.25(c) or (d) or §162.5(b)(1), (2), or (3) of this title or the employee is the recipient of a benefit for tribal members for which a uniform charge to all members is made, and

(iv) An affidavit as follows shall accompany each proposed transaction: “I (name) (title), swear (or affirm) that I have not exercised any undue influence nor used any special knowledge received by reason of my employment in the Bureau in obtaining the (grantor's, purchaser's, vendor's) consent to the instant transaction.”

(3) The authorized officer of the Bureau for employees employed on reservations, in agencies or service units is one who is not a relative by blood or marriage of the employee, and is not employed at the employee's reservation, agency or service unit. That officer must also be employed at not less than one grade level higher than such employee at the Washington, District of Columbia, Central Office or at an Area Office other than that with authority over the employee's reservation, agency, or service unit.

(4) The authorized officer of the Bureau for employees employed in Area offices is one who is not a relative by blood or marriage of the employee, is not employed at the employee's area office, and must be employed at not less than one grade level higher than the employee at the Washington, District of Columbia, Central Office.

(5) The authorized officer of the Bureau for employees employed at the Washington, District of Columbia, Central Office is the Secretary.

(f) Except as provided in subsection (b)(2) of section 437 of title 18 U.S. Code as implemented by this section, nothing in the cited law shall be construed as preventing any employee of the Bureau who is an Indian, of whatever degree of Indian blood, from obtaining or receiving any benefit or benefits made available to Indians generally or to any member of his or her particular tribe, under any Act of Congress, nor to prevent any such employee who is an Indian from being a member of or receiving benefits by reason of his or her membership in any Indian tribe, corporation, or cooperative association organized by Indians, when authorized under such rules and regulations as the Secretary or his/her designee has prescribed or shall prescribe.

[49 FR 25434, June 21, 1984]

§140.9   Application for license.

(a) Application for license must be made in writing on Form 5-052, setting forth the full name and residence of the applicant; if a firm, the firm name and the name of each member thereof; the place where it is proposed to carry on the trade; the capital to be invested; the names of the clerks to be employed; and the business experience of the applicant. The application must be forwarded through the Superintendent to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, accompanied by two satisfactory testimonials on Form 2-077 as to the character of the applicant and his employees and their fitness to be in the Indian country, and by an affidavit of the Superintendent on Form 5-053 that neither he nor any person for him has any interest, direct or indirect, present or prospective, in the proposed business or the profits arising therefrom, and that no arrangement for any benefit to himself or to any other person on his behalf is contemplated in case the license is granted. Licensed traders will be held responsible for the conduct of their employees.

(b) Itinerant peddlers or purveyors of foodstuffs and other merchandise shall be considered as traders and shall obtain a license or permit from the Superintendent setting forth the class of trade or peddling to be carried on, furnishing such character or credit references, or both, as may be required by the Superintendent. The period of the license for such itinerant peddlers shall be determined by the Superintendent.

(c) When a license or permit to trade is issued under the regulations in this part 140, a fee of $5, payable when the license is issued, shall be levied against the licensee.

[30 FR 8267, June 29, 1965. Redesignated at 47 FR 13327, Mar. 30, 1982]

§140.11   License period.

Licenses to trade shall not be issued unless the proposed licensee has a right to the use of the land on which the business is to be conducted. The license period shall correspond to the period of the lease or permit held by the licensee on restricted Indian land, except that where the proposed licensee is the owner or beneficial owner or holds a use right to the land on which the business is to be conducted, the license period shall be fixed by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs or his authorized representative, but in no case shall the license period exceed 25 years.

[30 FR 8268, June 29, 1965. Redesignated at 47 FR 13327, Mar. 30, 1982]

§140.12   License renewal.

Application for renewal of license must be made to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs on Form 5-054, through the superintendent, at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the existing license, and the superintendent must report as to the record the applicant has made as a trader and his fitness to continue as such under a new license.

§140.13   Power to close unlicensed stores.

If persons carry on trade within a reservation with the Indians without a license, or continue to trade after expiration of the license without applying for renewal, the superintendent will immediately report the facts in the case to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, who may, if necessary, direct the superintendent to close the stores of such traders.

§140.14   Trade limited to specified premises.

No trade with Indians is permitted at any other place than that specified in the license. Licenses to not cover branch stores. A separate license and bond must be furnished for each such store. The business of a licensed trader must be managed by the bonded principal, who must habitually reside upon the reservation, and not by an unbonded subordinate.

§140.15   License applicable for trading only by original licensee.

No trader will be allowed to lease, sublet, rent, or sell any of the buildings which he occupies, for any purpose to any other person or concern, without the approval of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. A license to trade with Indians does not confer upon the trader any right or privileges in respect to the herding or raising of livestock upon the reservation. The use of reservation lands, whether tribal or allotted, for such purposes can be obtained by a trader only upon the terms and under the restrictions which apply to other persons. His license gives him no advantage over others in this respect.

§140.16   Trade in annuities or gratuities prohibited.

Traders are forbidden to buy, trade for, or have in their possession any annuity or other goods of any description which have been purchased or furnished by the Government for the use or welfare of the Indians. Livestock or their increase purchased by the Government and in possession or control of the Indians may not be purchased by any trader, not a member of the tribe to which the owners or possessors of the cattle belong, except with the written consent of the agent of said tribe.

§140.17   Tobacco sales to minors.

No trader shall sell tobacco, cigars, or cigarettes to any Indian under 18 years of age.

§140.18   Intoxicating liquors.

No trader shall use or permit to be used his premises for any unlawful conduct or purpose whatsoever. No trader shall use of permit to be used any part of his premises for the manufacture, sale, gift, transportation, drinking or storage of intoxicating liquors or beverages in violation of existing laws relating thereto. Violation of this section will subject the trader to criminal prosecution, revocation of license and such other action as may be necessary.

§140.19   Drugs.

Traders shall not keep for sale, or sell, give away, or use any opium, chloral, cocaine, peyote or mescal bean, hashish or Indian hemp or marihuana, or any compound containing either ingredient, and for violation hereof the trader's license shall be revoked.

§140.21   Gambling.

Gambling, by dice, cards, or in any way whatever, is strictly prohibited in any licensed trader's store or on the premises.

§140.22   Inspection of traders' prices.

It is the duty of the superintendent to see that the prices charged by licensed traders are fair and reasonable. To this end the traders shall on request submit to the superintendent or inspecting officials the original invoice, showing cost, together with a statement of transportation charges, retail price of articles sold by them, the amount of Indian accounts carried on their books, the total annual sales, the value of buildings, livestock owned on reservation, the number of employees, and any other business information such officials may desire. The quality of all articles kept on sale must be good and merchantable.

§140.23   Credit at trader's risk.

Credit given Indians will be at the trader's own risk, as no assistance will be given by Government officials in the collection of debts against Indians. Traders shall not accept pawns or pledges of personal property by Indians to obtain credit or loans.

§140.24   Cash payments only to Indians.

Traders must not pay Indians in tokens, tickets, store orders, or anything else of that character. Payment must be made in money, or in credit if the Indian is indebted to the trader.

§140.25   Trade in antiquities prohibited.

Traders shall not deal in objects of antiquity removed from any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument on land owned or controlled by the United States.

Cross Reference: For regulations pertaining to archaeological resources, see part 262 of this chapter. For regulations of the Bureau of Land Management regarding antiquities, see 43 CFR part 3.

§140.26   Infectious plants.

Traders shall not introduce into, sell, or spread within Indian reservations any plant, plant product, seed, or any type of vegetation, which is infested, or infected or which might act as a carrier of any pests of infectious, transmissible, or contagious diseases, as determined by the laws and regulations of the State for plant quarantine and pest control. For the purpose of enforcement of this provision State officers may enter Indian reservations, with the consent of the superintendent, to inspect the premises of such traders and otherwise to execute such State laws and regulations.

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