Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No Shipment to the USA

One of the major Swiss coin auction houses has announced that it will no longer ship ancient coins to the USA, due to the growing list of import restrictions (and presumably recent problems importers have had with US Customs with regard to unrestricted ancient coins).

Here is the communication that has been sent by Sincona (formerly the numismatic arm of UBS) to US bidders:

Dear Mr. xxx

We would like to thank you very much for your bids.

Due to specific US customs regulations, Sincona is no longer shipping ancient coins into the USA!

Either you can personally pick up your auction lots at our office in Zurich (or having someone to do so on your behalf) or you have to provide us with a mailing address within the European Community, where we can send your purchase. If we do not receive your respective directives within 48 hours before the sale, we are sorry but cannot accept your bids for ancient coins!

Thank you for your understanding.

Elements within the AIA, the archaeological blogosphere, and cultural bureaucracies here and abroad will no doubt [at least secretly] applaud such developments.  On the other hand, others may now conclude that any speculative benefit import restrictions may have on the protection of archaeological sites is far outweighed by the direct,  negative consequences they undoubtedly also have on US small businesses, collectors, and ultimately the study, preservation and appreciation of ancient coins and the cultural exchange it fosters.

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