Friday 19 August 2011

Export Licences: Stiff Upper Lip and the Cry-Babies

In the post below I remark on how complex the interaction between UK and EU law on the export of antiquities can become once you start delving into it. An inordinate number of posts on this blog deals with the antics of US dealers about the relatively simple requirements of their powder-puff CCPIA. In the case of certain countries they need a piece of paper for any coins they want to bring in (they have the choice of two different kinds). They do not even have to contend with export licences, the US does not have them, or any institution to issue one (that is despite being a state party of the 1970 UNESCO Convention which requires both). For a number of years these dealers have been digging in their heels, kicking up a ruckus and getting quite hysterical and political about it. Thousands of collectors have willingly allowed themselves to be roped into the action by their widespread publicity (propaganda) campaign and alarmist lies.

I was just wondering, has anyone seen even a hint of something similar in the United Kingdom by antiquity dealers faced with considerably more complex import/export legislation for antiquities? Are they claiming that their small businesses are threatened? Are they alarming that these laws will be the end of collecting? Are they continually whingeing that everybody is against them, and the world does not understand? Or writing blogs like those of the ACCG attacking anyone in a white hat? Well, no - they are not. Despite the paperwork, law-abiding UK dealers they are quietly and, we trust, professionally getting on with doing what they do. And the ones that don't want to abide by the law are not shouting their mouths off about it.

Moans one of the US coineys:
Why has the State Department disadvantaged the interests of American collectors and the small businesses of the numismatic trade by imposing hard to meet documentation requirements (sic) when the support for such restrictions is so limited?
Because they think no-questions-asked collectors and dealers are hateful moaning parasites who do nothing for the credibility of America? I'd say that's probably about it. US dealers are no more "disadvantaged" and (in the case of legal activity) the documentation requirements no "harder to meet" than anyone else who has to provide documentation of legal export or fulfilling US import restrictions on cars, ipods, DVDs, fruit, exotic animals and a whole host of other products. Why cannot US coin dealers just get on with the job, acting within the law and like professionals and quit moaning?


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