Wednesday, May 1, 2013

German High Court Rules Export Permits Not Required for Collectors' Coins in Trade

Germany's highest regulatory court has ruled  that coins in trade will not be treated as archaeological objects requiring an export permit under EU law. The court said that because they are objects created in quantity, they have lost any archaeological value, and to require export permits for them would put an unreasonable restraint on trade. The decision in its entirety can be read here.   

UPDATE 5/4/13:  Not surprisingly, archaeo-blogger Paul Barford is in denial about the implications of Court's ruling and has even implied the court's decision-making was corrupted by "commercial interests."  As to the former, I think a well known numismatist said it best:

Of course Mr. Barford is in denial of the court's actual ruling: “coins coming from Antiquity generally have no archeological value and thus are not archeological objects”. It doesn’t come much clearer than that. Nor is this “the Bavarian judiciary” as Mr. Barford would like to believe; it is the supreme court of Germany for cases involving customs and taxes.

As to the latter, I think Mr. Barford should compare what Transparency International says about Germany and places whose views of cultural property matters he champions, like Greece, Cyprus, Italy and China.

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