The accusation that many coineys with educations gained in US schools have fluff for brains seems to be increasingly confirmed not only by the ease with which their self-appointed leaders manage to convince them with false admonitions of "what the new MOU will mean for YOU" which they never check, but also by the flow of whingeing pseudo-justifications which has recently been emerging from the milieu. Peter Tompa now asks: Do Import Restrictions Only Apply to "Illicitly Exported" Items?
Do MOU's only apply to "illicitly exported" artifacts as archaeo-blogger Paul Barford has claimed? No. In fact, import restrictions as applied by US Customs bar entry of coins openly and legitimately sold in markets abroad merely because they are of a type on a designated list.Whoah, whoah. What is the CONNECTION between "openly and legitimately sold" within a country and "openly and legitimately exported"? None. As these clowns well know. The coiney lobbyist whinges on:
First, for coins coming directly from the country for which import restrictions are granted, there is an exception if they are accompanied with an export permit."OK, your starter for ten, fingers on the buzzers: "what do we call a coin exported from a country which has export restrictions which is accompanied by an export licence?"..." [buzzzz]
"Yes, Oxford Magdalene, "licitly exported". That is the correct answer".
"Fingers on the buzzers, now what do we call a coin exported from a country which has export restrictions which has been taken out of the country without getting an export licence?" [buzzz] "No, I am sorry Wisconsin Numismatic Academy, the correct answer is "illicitly exported", bad luck".
"Fingers on the buzzers again, what is the correct legal term for a coin removed from a country which does not issue export licences for archaeological artefacts and therefore has none? Anyone?" " [buzzz] "Yes, Wisconsin... No... no. No, the correct answer is that we call such a coin 'illicitly exported', or simply smuggled, bad luck again..."
"No, Wisconsin, if it left the source country illegally, it makes no difference whether it passed through another country - since it arrived there illicitly; can we pass on t..."
[inaudible] "No, Wisconsin, the ten year "get out clause" as you put it is just a local convenience, which does not negate the principles established by the international agreement, so if we could... and there is no need for that sort of language, ...".
[raises eyebrow, discretely makes note to producer never to ask these rowdy peabrains back to University Challenge].
Three days later, the TV production company got an indignant letter from the principal numismatist of the Wisconsin Coin Academy, protesting:
The import restrictions discussed on the programme are both illogical and themselves definitely illicit, according to the 1983 CCPIA implementing US accession to the 1970 UNESCO Convention. That [is a] very clear contravention of the terms of the CCPIA...They ignored the letter as the writings of a madman of course.
Basically, if you have an antiquity of a type which is on the designated lists (which certainly contain many, many more categories than just a few scrappy coins) and you want to import it into the US either get the seller to obtain an export licence, or failing that as the CCPIA (19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) SECTION 2606, Import Restrictions, (a) Documentation of lawful exportation (note that title, Peter Tompa in particular) states: "unless the State Party issues a certification or other documentation which certifies that such exportation was not in violation of the laws of the State Party". Note this has nothing to do with "open and legitimate sale within the country". Neither has it anything in the least connected with its 'provenance' or collecting history. This is purely and simply about lawful export (note that title everybody, Peter Tompa and coin dealers in particular).
All is not lost even if you've not got one of those, the actual text of the CCPIA contains a useful get-out clause [2606(c)(1)(B)] "a statement provided by the consignor, or person who sold the material to the importer, which states the date, or, if not known, his belief, that the material was exported from the State Party not less than ten years before the date of entry into the United States, and the reasons on which the statement is based". Not even on oath, not even asking for any supporting material to be supplied. Basically scribbling down some (could be made-up) story of innocence.
Now the reason the silly whingers are complaining about even this is that they reckon a fellow dealer scribbling such a note on a company letterhead would - they assert - cost "more than the coin itself". So who else, except dumber-than-my-cat coineys, would do business with a seller that would charge you an arm and a leg for putting down a few words on paper why the circumstances of the sale of these particular coins are not breaking the law? How much were Spink's charging to scribble a note about the coins seized in Baltimore on their way to the ACCG? Did they not know the US law on the imports of such items and ignored it? Not very professional, is it?
Remember what article 3 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention, implemented in the US by the CCPIA, says.
UPDATE 28.11.11: Dealer Dave attempts to defend the logic of Peter Tompa by incomplete sentences (at the beginning of his "commentary" to a lengthy cut-and-paste) and tekkie language (at the end of his insulting "commentary" to a lengthy cut-and-paste). Between them however is nothing which refutes the notion that commerce in objects removed from a country in disregard of its export licensing procedures is anything except illicit. Perhaps instead of insulting and merely ridiculing those whose views differ (from those of which he wants to convince coineys and others), it might be more useful to actually indicate, citing chapter and verse, where I am wrong here instead of merely sniping without providing justification [except his wholly irrelevant assertion that Peter Tompa probably earns "ten times as much" as me for lobbying on behalf of the coin sellers. He probably does, that does not make doing what he does right].
UPDATE 28.11.11 (bis)
"Any reader interested in finding out the omitted details will have little difficulty doing that". Yes, I suppose not quoting (this time) beyond the first sentence and not giving a link saves the coiney readers of the coin dealer's blog from having to bother their confused brains about what it says here about what an "illicit export" is. Any readers he has who have not got fluff for brains will take note of his manipulation and whether the Dealer Dave "Ancient Coins" blog or this PACHI blog is a better source of information for responsible collectors on what the law actually says.