Monday, March 25, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects ACCG's Coins Case

Photo credit: David Lat
The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) suffered another defeat as the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the trade organization's appeal. The case of ACCG v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, Department of Homeland Security et al. (docket 12-996challenged America's import controls over Chinese and Cypriot cultural property.  The ACCG lost in both the federal district court and the circuit court of appeals before filing a petition for certiorari in the nation's highest court. The Supreme Court reviewed the ACCG's case on Friday and issued a ruling this morning denying certiorari.

The ACCG began the case in order to challenge the government's application of the Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA), the federal law that implements the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The trade organization imported ancient coins from a London dealer in 2009 that were minted in China and Cyprus. But they had no provenance and no description of their find spots. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detained the coins under authority of CPIA import controls restricting ancient Chinese and Cypriot coins of a certain type. The ACCG then filed suit to challenge the cultural property import protections.

Today's Chasing Aphrodite interview with Peter Tompa, attorney for the ACCG, offers additional information about the ACCG's test case.

This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire at culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Text copyrighted 2012 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited. CONTACT: www.culturalheritagelawyer.com