Mailing coins to and from Europe'): "If anyone with a Polish address is interested in receiving a few recent US coins from me, with full customs declaration, email me and tell me what kind of US coins you want. No charge". A chance to get that 1970S,1914D Lincoln or 1928 Peace dollar maybe? Snible was hoping to try and get a "Polish correspondent" involved in sending ancient coins from Sicily backwards and forwards. He wanted to test out just how much of a "hindrace" US import restrictions are if the coins are accompanied by the right paperwork. His "friend the Cultural Property Observer" asserts in his blog on behalf of the IAPN and PNG dealers that even if the paperwork is in order the US Customs create a problem for all importers.
The problem is that the Polish post office will not accept any coins posted to the US as a letter. The requirement of the US postal service is that they all have to go as a package (at 80 zloties a throw) which can be opened and inspected. Snible writes:
I am curious to see how it this prohibition works in practice. I was unable to convince my Polish archeo-blogger correspondent to enter into an exchange of modern coins with me.
It might have something to do with Snible recently publishing on his blog a whole series of comments alleging I "might" be involved in smuggling of cultural property (a repeat of unsubstantiated coiney mudslinging from five years ago). That's not really at all conducive to any kind of co-operation, he can find somebody else to insult after they'd agreed to help him. In any case, the matter discussed was not "modern coins".
Anyway he got around that difficulty, managing to find a European seller who'd flog him a coin and ignore the postal regulations:
The coin arrived a week early on April 13th. The seller did not declare the coin, so we didn't learn anything about shipping declared coins. [...] My hope is that I didn't engage in smuggling through this transaction. I did everything above-board: I bought it publicly on eBay, paid with a credit card, received it at my legal residence via the US Postal Service. It was just an undeclared coin with a face value of US $0.53 and a collector value of $1.65. If anyone with a legal background knows otherwise please contact me via email.I am sure his friend the IAPN and PNG representative will tell him "no law was broken in the US" - and that from a US legal point of view and the dealers' associations he represents, everything is kosher. The rest of us can see if the regulations require that a particular type of object should leave a country according to a particular procedure, and that procedure is circumvented and ignored, that is what we call smuggling Mr Snible. And he should not be surprised that people do not want to get involved in such "experiments".
Is this, perhaps, the seller concerned? $1.65 and $3.00 shipping? Why would a buyer buy a coin from a seller offering shipping costs which he knows are more than twenty times cheaper than what he knows is the ONLY legal way to send coins from Poland to the US? Why did the buyer not check before bidding by what means the coin was to arrive when the cost given is 77zł cheaper than the official cost of a declared parcel? If THIS is the way US collectors are "importing" fresh coins from abroad, by hiding them in illegal anonymous (undeclared) envelopes, hoping not to be (counting on not being) caught, then yes indeed, the fact that the US authorities might be stopping such attempts to subvert the system might inded be a hindrance to their "freedoms". However note that what they are wanting is freedoms deliberately to ignore the correct procedures.
Most Polish sellers with this coin have them much cheaper, and appended to the description is of course: "Nie zgadzam się na wysłanie przedmiotu za granicę". [I will not agree to sending this abroad]. This separates the wheat from the chaff, Mr X-ski does not want to send it abroad because to do it properly involves more paperwork than selling in the country. Mr Y-ski is not bothered, he's just going to stick it between two sheets of cardboard in an envelope and pretend its a weighty letter. He knows the US barrier of bubbles at the border most likely will not stop it.
This is where the arguments of the IAPN and PNG and their Tompa break down. There may be a legal market in Poland for these coins, but that is a completely different thing from the legal way to move them across international borders.