Thursday, 8 September 2011

Trouble-free Imports of Restricted Coins into the US

Some tub-thumping coineys have been trying to gain political capital by claiming one cannot now import certain coins of Italian origin from old collections into the US. That may be a claim that is convenient in rabble rousing, but the truth is different, both in terms of what the law says and in practice. Ed Snible, one of the few coineys that think of these issues in more colours than black has an interesting post on his blog about an upcoming sale of Numismatica Ars Classica (London, Zurich, Milan). This concerns a very large and valuable collection of Republican coins (from their beginning to 91 BC) accumulated in America, the so-called RBW collection. What is interesting about it is that this continental firm has an assurance for its customers. Spink's seem to have just shoved some coins in an envelope and posted them to the ACCG and when they were stopped at Baltimore refused to submit any more paperwork to show the transaction was licit in terms of the laws of the destination country in an effort to help challenge these laws (shame on you Spink's). Unlike that transaction, NAC has these laws firmly in mind and has every intention of helping collectors aide by them and benefit from them. They provide potential US customers with a guarantee:
The RBW Collection is an American collection and all of the coins that make up this collection were outside Italian territory prior to 19th January 2011. Furthermore, almost every item was exported from the United States using a special procedure: Certificate of Registration (CBP Form 4455), which proves American provenance, therefore none of the coins offered in this sale are subject to any kind of US import restrictions.

Nonetheless, Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG endeavours to provide its American clients with the best service possible and we will therefore take it upon ourselves to carry out all of the customs formalities for importation into the USA and will then ship the lots to each individual client from within the United States.

NAC guarantees importation to the US of any coins purchased in this sale.
It is unclear why other firms cannot follow such a lead, why are they unable to provide proof that the coins they handle were licit for trade with the US and not freshly looted? Certainly we are beginning to see the commercial advantages for a dealer who can, which is exactly what this is all about. It is a win-win situation as the tekkies over in the UK like to say. The only people who lose out are dodgy dealers with wholly undocumentable material on their hands. So whose position are the ACCG fighting?

[I am not so sure about the phrase "American provenance", - "curatorship", "collection history"?]

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