Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Collectors Challenge U.S. State Department Bureaucrats After Baltimore Seizure

The Wall Street Journal's "Market Watch" has picked up the ACCG's latest press release about a prospective "test case" concerning the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' controversial decisions to impose import restrictions on coins of Cypriot and Chinese type. See: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/collectors-challenge-us-state-department-bureaucrats-after-baltimore-seizure-2009-09-15

Now that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized the Cypriot and Chinese coins that the ACCG imported for that purpose, the matter should go before a U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Maryland.

Information gleaned from companion Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation suggests that the decisions of the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs were arbitrary and capricious. As the press release explains,

Information from another Freedom of Information Act lawsuit suggests that the DOS failed to follow the recommendations of its own experts on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) in extending restrictions to Cypriot coins, and then misled Congress about this decision. Other information implicates DOS bureaucrats adding coins to the Chinese MOU even though Chinese officials never asked for their inclusion.

The press release also notes that former CPAC members share some of the concerns that prompted ACCG to pursue its "test case." For more, see: http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/search/label/IFAR

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