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New Restrictions on Imports of Archaeological and Ethnological Material from Syria

Monday, August 15, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final rule that, effective Aug. 15, amends its regulations to reflect the imposition of import restrictions on certain archaeological and ethnological material from Syria. This rule also contains the designated list that describes the types of materials to which the restrictions apply if unlawfully removed from Syria on or after March 15, 2011. These include objects of the following materials.

- stone (sculpture, seals, vessels and containers, tools and weapons, jewelry, ostraca and tablets)

- metal (sculpture, vessels and containers, objects of daily use, tools, weapons and armor, jewelry, amulets, seals, liturgical objects, tablets and coins)

- ceramic, clay and faience (sculpture, architectural decorations, vessels and containers, objects of daily use and writing)

- bone, ivory and shell (sculpture and objects of daily use)

- wood (architectural elements, religious equipment, objects of daily use, tools and weapons)

- glass (containers and vessels)

- plaster and stucco (e.g., containers and architectural decorations)

- painting and drawing (wall paining and Byzantine panel paintings)

- mosaic (floor mosaics and wall and ceiling mosaics)

- textile (e.g., garments, blankets, bags, hangings and rugs)

- writing

- parchment, paper and leather

According to information on the State Department’s Web site, no restricted materials exported from a country party to a cultural property protection agreement with the U.S. may be imported into the U.S. without an export permit issued by that country or other documentation showing that it left the country of origin prior to the effective date of restrictions. Such import restrictions are applicable even if the material is imported into the U.S. from a country other than the country of origin. Import restrictions do not apply to the subject material if it is documented as being outside of the country of origin at the time the restrictions became effective in the U.S.

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