Monday 22 March 2010

Coin Dealers to Investigate Antiquity Import Laws

I wrote earlier about the questioning of the Executive Director of the Ancient Coin Collectors’ Guild by US Customs. Sayles suggests it was because he had challenged the US government in the Baltimore Coin Stunt that he was placed on a watchlist. He is thus now trying to present this as some kind of a Big Brother conspiracy against coin collectors which he sees as sinister. (“I'd welcome comments or anecdotal information from any other coin collectors or coin dealers who feel they have been singled out because of a coin related issue.”) I am one of those who feel that if he has been placed on a watch list, it would be because of the involvement of the organization he heads in the deliberate and provocative illegal importation of coins of Cyprus and China into the US. Mr Sayles disagrees with such an interpretation of events:
The ignorant suggestion by some other bloggers that I was being tagged because of my previous "illegal" importation of coins in the ACCG legal challenge are just plain silly and one has to consider the source. There was nothing illegal about that Baltimore importation and it was done in full compliance with all legal requirements, through a licensed broker and with full disclosure to CBP at several levels. Only a die-hard, jack-booted, nationalist would call a legitimate court challenge to government abuse "illegal" and justification for me to be watch listed.
Well, the wearing of S&M footwear has nothing to do with it, the facts of the case are clear.

1) The USA currently have laws which require importers of certain classes of artefact to have export licences for them.

2) The ACCG imported artefacts of those classes, deliberately and with pre-meditation in violation of those laws. Despite the fact that they had a 90-day period of grace, they failed to comply and are now trying to force an expensive court case to “test the legitimacy” of the laws.

Now, was a law broken by the ACCG? [Yes.] Deliberately or by mistake? [In full knowledge of the consequences.] Independently of WHY they broke the law, the law was indeed broken. Delierately. It is therefore neither “ignorant” or “silly” nor “nationalist” to state as a fact that Wayne Sayles heads an organization which has illegally imported coins into the USA. As such in searching his bags, the Customs men were doing what they are supposed to.

Could it be that it is the coin dealer who does not know when he is breaking the law? Anyway I see that the ACCG is coming to the rescue of fellow dealers, they are going to find out what the law says about the importation of ancient coins and are going to be “publishing some information and advice for importers of ancient coins in the near future”. You’d think that they’d have done so well before now really, as a service to their membership.

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