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Thursday, March 20, 2014

U.K. is Top Source Nation in 2013 for U.S. Imports of Archaeological, Historical, and Ethnological Goods

Switzerland in 2012 was the #1 source of archaeological, historical, and ethnological material imported into the United States. But U.S. import values from that country fell by 99.8%, leaving the former second place finisher, the United Kingdom, to take the top spot in 2013 as measured by declared customs values of consumable goods.

Data compiled from tariff and trade information supplied by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission reveal this latest picture of imports classified by Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) commodity code 9705.00.0070.

The overall total customs value of archaeological, historical, or ethnological goods imported into the U.S. in 2013 amounted to a declared value of $45,647,923, an increase of 22% from 2012

Imports received from the U.K. jumped nearly 54%, totaling $11,451,019. And the U.K. and Egypt together made up nearly half of the $45 million of American imports.

Import values from Egypt skyrocketed 105% at a time of political instability and upheaval. There is a Red List covering cultural heritage from that nation.

Photo credit: Athewma
Israel, which has a legally regulated antiquities market, saw its U.S. import values climb 97%.

India, a source of highly prized artifacts among American collectors, saw a jump of 3805% in its U.S. import values.

Mali, once on the top 20 list of source countries, experienced a 79% collapse in 2013 after the White House, in September 2012, extended import restrictions on endangered Malian cultural heritage. Conakry Terminal on the port city of neighboring Guinea, meanwhile, continues to grow. And in 2013, American archaeological, historical, or ethnological imports from Guinea totaled $347,100, up from $0 the previous year.

Imports from war-torn Syria spiked 1375%. A Red List for threatened cultural heritage is in effect.

The top 20 source countries in 2013 by customs value for archaeological, historical, or ethnological goods were, in descending order, U.K., Egypt, Italy, Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Greece, France, Israel, Australia, India, Gabon, Congo, Argentina, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Canada, Guinea, Lebanon, and Spain.

The full list of HTS 9705.00.0070 data is reproduced in the table below. More 2012 data is found here.


HTS NumberCountry20122013Percent Change
2012 - 2013
In Actual Dollars
9705000070United Kingdom7,446,02111,451,01953.8%
9705000070Egypt5,186,16610,655,752105.5%
9705000070Italy4,189,8003,972,732-5.2%
9705000070Congo (DROC)03,465,671N/A
9705000070Germany1,826,4632,052,39812.4%
9705000070Greece928,2541,801,48994.1%
9705000070France1,694,9521,250,293-26.2%
9705000070Israel598,2121,178,98097.1%
9705000070Australia100,7681,080,405972.2%
9705000070India26,9581,052,9333,805.8%
9705000070Gabon0941,213N/A
9705000070Congo (ROC)519,087906,60074.7%
9705000070Argentina0759,100N/A
9705000070Denmark31,771725,0252,182.0%
9705000070Norway0513,717N/A
9705000070Japan14,909401,1462,590.6%
9705000070Canada268,177385,24943.7%
9705000070Guinea0347,100N/A
9705000070Lebanon6,546300,0004,483.0%
9705000070Spain3,494,617242,406-93.1%
9705000070Morocco182,020219,14820.4%
9705000070Austria119,628176,22747.3%
9705000070Madagascar16,360169,900938.5%
9705000070Turkey399,462147,669-63.0%
9705000070Indonesia14,631136,714834.4%
9705000070Papua New Guin46,648135,924191.4%
9705000070Costa Rica0135,867N/A
9705000070Russia32,599134,972314.0%
9705000070Finland0120,101N/A
9705000070Syria6,870101,3491,375.2%
9705000070Netherlands30,63278,996157.9%
9705000070Sweden81,86577,937-4.8%
9705000070Nigeria7,50073,203876.0%
9705000070Mali254,20753,128-79.1%
9705000070China59,21942,288-28.6%
9705000070Ghana20,08036,46381.6%
9705000070Uruguay033,539N/A
9705000070Burkina Faso033,205N/A
9705000070Bulgaria18,00031,37974.3%
9705000070Belgium21,68625,03615.4%
9705000070South Africa54,81623,764-56.6%
9705000070Ireland32,36322,790-29.6%
9705000070Ukraine170,67021,257-87.5%
9705000070Switzerland8,710,03720,870-99.8%
9705000070Taiwan020,000N/A
9705000070Saudi Arabia019,540N/A
9705000070Poland21,37911,575-45.9%
9705000070Solomon Is011,500N/A
9705000070Brazil3,00010,000233.3%
9705000070Uzbekistan3,0008,793193.1%
9705000070Jordan4,6008,00073.9%
9705000070Colombia06,127N/A
9705000070Romania5,5005,5000.0%
9705000070Togo04,730N/A
9705000070Iceland03,704N/A
9705000070Chile3,5003,5000.0%
9705000070Thailand10,2210-100.0%
9705000070Mauritania7,4250-100.0%
9705000070Albania2,0700-100.0%
9705000070Korea202,7300-100.0%
9705000070Serbia2,5750-100.0%
9705000070Algeria13,1520-100.0%
9705000070Singapore49,2000-100.0%
9705000070Malaysia7,7940-100.0%
9705000070Macedonia42,8000-100.0%
9705000070Niger6,9920-100.0%
9705000070New Zealand168,4540-100.0%
9705000070Czech Republic3,7300-100.0%
9705000070Philippines22,4650-100.0%
9705000070Cameroon9,0220-100.0%
9705000070Senegal3,2070-100.0%
9705000070Mexico19,3800-100.0%
9705000070Peru59,0140-100.0%
9705000070New Caledonia3,7500-100.0%
9705000070Portugal18,6550-100.0%
9705000070Burundi14,5000-100.0%
9705000070Pakistan25,2280-100.0%
9705000070Afghanistan5,6990-100.0%
9705000070Fr Polynesia2,5000-100.0%
9705000070Montenegro25,0000-100.0%
Total37,378,53645,647,92322.1%

The numbers posted here do not document the broader category of "collections and collectors' pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archeological, paleontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest" classified by HTS 9705.  The statistics posted are only those covering  HTS 9705's subcategory of archaeological, historical, and ethnological material under HTS 9705.00.0070. Note too that HTS 9705 excludes "antiques" over 100 years old (e.g., silverware and furniture), which are classified elsewhere by HTS 9706.

By Rick St. Hilaire Text copyrighted 2010-2014 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Blog url: culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited. CONTACT INFORMATION: www.culturalheritagelawyer.com