Section 2601 narrows the universe of articles that may be subjected to import restrictions under the CPIA. Only an object of archaeological or ethnological interest “which was first discovered within, and is subject to export control by” the requesting state may be restricted. 19 U.S.C. § 2601(2). The [Ancient Coin Collectors] Guild alleges that [the U.S. Department of] State and CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] acted ultra vires by placing import restrictions on all coins of certain types without demonstrating that all coins of those types were “first discovered within” China or Cyprus. Guild Br. at 21–22. According to the Guild, the government and the district court effectively read the “first discovered” requirement out of the statute. Id. at 24.
We are not persuaded. As an initial matter, the CPIA is clear that defendants may designate items by “type or other appropriate classification” when establishing import restrictions. 19 U.S.C. § 2604. State and CBP are under no obligation to list restricted items with more specificity than the statute commands, and they are certainly not required to impose restrictions on a coin-by-coin basis. Such a requirement would make the statutory scheme utterly unworkable in practice.
If the [importer] of any designated archaeological or ethnological material is unable to present to the customs officer” the required documentation, the “officer concerned shall refuse to release the material from customs custody ... until such documentation or evidence is filed with such officer.” 19 U.S.C. § 2606(b). In short, CBP need not demonstrate that the articles are restricted; rather, the statute “expressly places the burden on importers to prove that they are importable. (Citation omitted).