ANCIENT COIN COLLECTORS GUILD

  • February 21, 2022 10:22 AM | Randolph Myers (Administrator)

    Our FOIA administrative appeal contends that Customs and Border Protection does have such responsive documents, and we cite not only the agency's legal obligations under FOIA's text and caselaw to conduct thorough and reasonable searches but offered examples where such CBP documents exist.


  • February 03, 2022 6:10 PM | Peter Tompa (Administrator)

    We have updated our guidance for the import of ancient coins into the United States.  The update can be found here as well as under "Legislation" in the "Background" section of our website:  013122 Import Restrictions on Ancient Coins and Declarations for Legal Import .pdf

  • January 13, 2022 10:34 AM | Randolph Myers (Administrator)

    On January 13, 2022, the ACCG submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of State, regarding the Designated List of restricted ancient coins from Egypt, that was published by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on December 3, 2021. We requested eight categories of documents, including the basis of their “determinations” to legally justify such restrictions, how the restrictions can legally apply to coins that circulated outside Egypt, and how they considered the public comments earlier submitted to the Cultural Properties Advisory Committee.


  • January 11, 2022 8:53 AM | Randolph Myers (Administrator)

    On January 3, 2022, the ACCG submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of State, regarding the Designated List of restricted ancient coins from Greece, that was published by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on November 22, 2021. We requested seven categories of documents, including the basis of their “determinations” to legally justify such restrictions, how the restrictions can legally apply to coins that circulated outside Greece, and how they considered the public comments earlier submitted to the Cultural Properties Advisory Committee.


  • November 27, 2021 11:08 AM | Randolph Myers (Administrator)

    Our FOIA administrative appeal contends that our FOIA request, which was divided into three parts and contained almost two pages of supplementary information, did reasonably describe the records sought.  The two "art trade" members were recently posted as additions to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, after the ACCG filed repeated complaints with Department of State and then to its Inspector General.  While the two "art trade" members purport to have expertise, however, there is nothing in the public record that they are "experts in the international sale of archaeological, ethnological, and other cultural property" as required by the Cultural Property Implementation Act.  Since the Act requires such members to be experts, and that appointments be made to ensure "fair representation" of the interests of various private sectors, the ACCG filed the FOIA request on November 26, 2021, seeking documents on how the two members qualified as experts and as "art trade" representatives.


  • November 23, 2021 4:08 PM | Peter Tompa (Administrator)

    The State Department has amended current Greek import restrictions to include "Byzantine and medieval Frankish and Venetian coins that circulated primarily in Greece...."  Please see our Background Page under Legislation for details about this and other import restrictions on coins. 

  • October 21, 2021 5:16 PM | Peter Tompa (Administrator)

    The ACCG has filed comments in response to FinCEN's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  Those comments argue that coin dealers should not be subject to regulations contemplated for "antiquities dealers" given the negligible risk of money laundering and/or terrorist financing. All coin dealers are micro or small businesses. Many only operate part time. Imposing expensive and time-consuming regulations on these micro and small businesses may drive many out of business, in particular those which only operate part time. Without proof of a serious money laundering problem in the industry, coin dealers should not be subject to regulations designed for antiquities dealers. We understand the United Kingdom has exempted coin dealers from such regulations, and FinCEN should do so here as well.  For ACCG's written comments, see https://www.regulations.gov/comment/FINCEN-2021-0006-0019

  • September 25, 2021 6:26 AM | Peter Tompa (Administrator)

    The ACCG has filed the following comments on the State Department's last minute efforts to impose "emergency import restrictions" on Afghan cultural goods:

    I am writing on behalf of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild to oppose the last-minute effort to impose import restrictions on Afghan cultural goods. We join the more substantial comments of IAPN and PNG but emphasize the following points. 1. CPAC should not allow a request by the "former government of Afghanistan” to provide cover for emergency import restrictions which can only benefit the Taliban. The State Department bureaucracy is engaging in sleight of hand. The Federal Register notice indicates that the former government sought a regular cultural property agreement, but that has now morphed into a request for emergency restrictions when there is no indication that the current Taliban Government has requested any such action or is even aware of it. In any case, the Taliban would have no standing to seek any such emergency import restrictions because the US does not yet recognize that government. 2. The criteria for emergency import restrictions found in 19 USC Section 2603 cannot be met, particularly with regards to coins. Bactrian coins are not “newly discovered material.” They have been studied and collected since at least the 19th century. Nor are they identifiable as coming from “any site of recognized to be of high cultural significance.” Indeed, Bactrian coins circulated widely throughout not only Afghanistan, but what is today Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and India. Finally, there is no demonstrable evidence of current pillage of “crisis proportions” in Afghanistan. Instead, the Taliban have said they will protect archaeological sites, presumably by applying their harsh brand of Sharia law to any prospective looters. Speculation that looting may become a problem in Afghanistan is no substitute for facts. There is simply no hard evidence that there currently is looting of “crisis proportions” in the country. 3. Proponents of import restrictions on cultural goods often claim that they are anti-terrorist financing measures. However, perversely import restrictions could very well lead to repatriations of cultural goods to the Taliban which then can be resold to fund any Taliban supported terrorism. Proponents may claim because there are no current diplomatic relations with the Taliban items may be seized but will not be repatriated. However, repatriations to the State Party are mandated under 19 USC Section 2609, and there are certainly no guarantees repatriations will not happen soon. Unfortunately, the CPIA has no safe harbor provisions that make protection of cultural artifacts a paramount concern. Instead, there is an erroneous assumption in the UNESCO Convention and the Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA) that State Parties are the best stewards of cultural heritage when that is often not the case. Certainly, that is not the case here given the Taliban’s past theatrical destruction of pre-Islamic cultural heritage. The Taliban’s “unclean hands” should weigh heavily against CPAC approving any emergency import restrictions.


  • September 23, 2021 8:56 AM | Randolph Myers (Administrator)

    The ACCG submitted its response, that objects to the proposed extension and amendment of the MOU and associated import restrictions with the Republic of Cyprus, as it impacts ancient coins.  In our response dated September 22, 2021, we raised three procedural objections that the public notice failed to give the public a meaningful opportunity to submit comments or participate in the Cultural Property Advisory Committee's open session, failed to inform the public whether ancient coins may be subject to import restrictions, and that the Committee has failed to include three art trade representatives as members as required by Cultural Properties Implementation Act We also made four substantive objections under the Cultural Properties Implementation Act.  Our comments can be found here:

    https://www.regulations.gov/comment/DOS-2021-0032-0025


  • July 20, 2021 10:39 AM | Randolph Myers (Administrator)

    On July 15, 2021, the ACCG submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of State, regarding the Designated List of restricted ancient coins from the Republic of Turkey that was published by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We requested seven categories of documents, including the basis of their “determinations” to legally justify such restrictions, how the restrictions can legally apply to coins that circulated primarily in Turkey, and how they considered the public comments earlier submitted to the Cultural Properties Advisory Committee.   ACCG FOIA request to Dept of State on Turkish coins 7.15.2021 RMyers.pdf


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