Saturday, 29 December 2012

Not... Up!

The Ancient Coin "Collectors' Guild" stubbornly refuses to admit they have no case. Rick St Hilaire has on his blog a nice pill-size  history of the case concerning the Baltimore illegal Coin Import Stunt in which London dealer-of-Cambodian-statue-'fame' Spink's took part. The ACCG are now going to petition the Supreme Court to be heard. Well, that will no doubt bring a few more hundreds of dollars into the coffers of the legal firm in which one of their board members is employed. Talk about conflict of interest.  

Anyhow, "the ACCG hopes that this Petition will continue to sensitize U.S. Government decision makers to the concerns of the numismatic community" ("continue"? They seriously think that their illegal import stunt has impressed US lawmakers?).

Those concerns are "about how the U.S. State Department and U.S. Customs have damaged (sic) the venerable hobby of ancient coin collecting in the United States". Venerable, is neither here nor there (drunk-driving is as venerable as a tipsy cartster losing control of the haywain on a slope in Colonial Virginia, that does not mean that it should not be punished when laws are broken). What we are talking about is the import of dugup artefacts from other countries which have no evidence of proper export from the source country.

The ACCG lamely complains:
American importers of ancient coins are burdened with extralegal administrative regulations, collectors in most other countries may import the same coins with impunity
They are neither extralegal, nor is it the importer in the US that has to send the coins to the US with the proper pieces of paper, but the exporter. If they want to trade with the US, they - like the recipient - have to comply with current US regulations and customs controls.  All American importers have to do is ascertain that they buy from somebody who can supply the documentation of proper export. As anybody who is not a coin dealer can see, that is not a "burden" of "administrative regulations", it is a matter of ethical trading.

Vignette: coins

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