Museum Security Network

Amendment: Imports Restrictions Imposed on Archaeological and Ethnological Material from Iraq

LONDON, (CAIS) — SUMMARY: This document amends the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations to reflect the imposition of import restrictions on Archaeological and Ethnological Material of Iraq pursuant to section 3002 of the Emergency Protection for Iraqi Cultural Antiquities Act of 2004. This document also contains the Designated List of Archaeological and Ethnological Material that describes the types of articles to which the import restrictions apply.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Effective Date: April 30, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For legal aspects, George F. McCray, Esq., Chief, Intellectual Property Rights and Restricted Merchandise Branch, (202) 572-8710. For operational aspects, Michael Craig, Chief, Federal Agency Enforcement Branch, (202) 863-6558.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The value of cultural property, whether archaeological or ethnological in nature, is immeasurable. Such items often constitute the very essence of a society and convey important information concerning a people’s origin, history, and traditional setting. The importance and popularity of such items regrettably makes them targets of theft, encourages clandestine looting of archaeological sites, and results in their illegal export and import.

The United States shares in the international concern for the need to protect endangered cultural property. The appearance in the U.S. of stolen or illegally exported artifacts from other countries where there has been pillage has, on occasion, strained our foreign and cultural relations. This situation, combined with the concerns of museum, archaeological, and scholarly communities, was recognized by the President and Congress. It became apparent that it was in the national interest of the U.S. to join with other countries to control illegal trafficking of such articles in international commerce.

The United States joined international efforts and actively participated in deliberations resulting in the 1970 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (823 U.N.T.S. 231 (1972)). United States acceptance of the 1970 UNESCO Convention was codified into U.S. law as the “Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act” (Pub. L. 97-446, 19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) This was done to promote U.S. leadership in achieving greater international cooperation towards preserving cultural treasures that are of importance to the nations from which they originate and to achieve greater international understanding of mankind’s common heritage.

During the past several years, import restrictions have been imposed on archaeological and ethnological artifacts of a number of signatory nations. These restrictions have been imposed as a result of requests received from those nations under Article 9 of the 1970 Convention and pursuant to provisions of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act that allow for emergency action and bilateral agreements between the United States and other countries.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483, adopted on May 23, 2003, obligates all member nations, regardless of whether they are parties to the 1970 UNESCO Convention, to assist in the protection of Iraq’s cultural heritage.

Paragraph 7 of the Resolution states that “all Member States shall take appropriate steps to facilitate the safe return to Iraqi institutions of Iraqi cultural property and other items of archaeological, historical, cultural, rare scientific, and religious importance illegally removed from the Iraq National Museum, the National Library, and other locations in Iraq since the adoption of resolution 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990, including by establishing a prohibition on trade in or transfer of such items with respect to which reasonable suspicion exists that they have been illegally removed, and calls upon the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Interpol, and other international organizations, as appropriate, to assist in the implementation of this paragraph;”.

Emergency Protection for Iraqi Cultural Antiquities Act of 2004

The Emergency Protection for Iraqi Cultural Antiquities Act of 2004 (title III of Pub. L. 108-429) (“the Act”) authorizes the President to exercise the authority of the President under section 304 of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 2603) with respect to any archaeological or ethnological material of Iraq without regard to whether Iraq is a State Party under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, and without the need for a formal request from the government of Iraq.

Under 19 U.S.C. 2603, if the President determines that an emergency condition applies with respect to any archaeological or ethnological material of any State Party, the President may apply the import restrictions set forth in 19 U.S.C. 2606 with respect to such material.

In Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, entitled Assignment of Functions Relating to Import Restrictions on Iraqi Antiquities, dated May 5, 2006 (71 FR 28753), the President assigned the functions of the President under section 3002 of the Act to the Secretary of State.

In Delegation of Authority No. 294, published in the Federal Register on July 20, 2006 (71 FR 41306), the Secretary of State delegated to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, to the extent authorized by law, all authorities and functions vested in the Deputy Secretary of State, including all authorities and functions vested in the Secretary of State or the head of agency that have been or may be delegated or re-delegated to the Deputy Secretary.

In Delegation of Authority No. 296, published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2007 (72 FR 8054), the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs delegated to the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs the functions of the President under section 3002 of the Act.

Pursuant to section 304 of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 2603) and section 3002 of the Act, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State, concluding that an emergency condition applies with respect to archaeological and ethnological materials of Iraq, made the necessary determination on July 2, 2007, to impose import restrictions on such materials of Iraq. Accordingly, CBP is amending 19 CFR part 12 to reflect the imposition of the import restrictions. The Designated List of Archaeological and Ethnological Material of Iraq that describes the types of articles to which the import restrictions apply is set forth below. This list is for general guidance only and is not intended to be all-inclusive.

More information on import restrictions may be obtained from the International Cultural Property Protection Web site (http://exchanges.state.gov/culprop ). Importation of archaeological and ethnological materials of Iraq are restricted unless the conditions set forth in 19 U.S.C. 2606 and 19 CFR 12.104c are met. These restrictions are in effect until further notice.

Designated List of Archeological and Ethnological Material of Iraq:

http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2008/May2008/08-05.htm

Museum Security Network / Museum Security Consultancy
toncremers@museum-security.org
http://www.museum-security.org
Handboek Veiligheidszorg Erfgoedbeheerders
http://www.handboekveiligheidszorgmusea.nl/

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