On June 16, 2021, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a final rule [CBP Dec. 21-09] that amends the CBP regulations to reflect the imposition of import restrictions on certain categories of archaeological and ethnological material from the Republic of Turkey (Turkey). These restrictions are being imposed pursuant to an agreement between the United States and Turkey (the Agreement) that has been entered into under the authority of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (the Act). This final rule amends the CBP regulations by adding Turkey to the list of countries which have a bilateral agreement with the United States that imposes cultural property import restrictions. This final rule also contains the Designated List that describes the types of archaeological and ethnological material to which the restrictions apply.

On March 27, 2020, the Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State, after consultation with and recommendation by the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, made the determinations required by the Act, including: (1) that the cultural patrimony of Turkey is in jeopardy from the pillage of archaeological material representing Turkey’s cultural heritage dating from approximately 1.2 million years ago to A.D. 1770, and ethnological material dating from approximately the 1st century A.D. to A.D. 1923; (2) that the Turkish government has taken measures consistent with the Convention to protect its cultural patrimony; (3) that import restrictions imposed by the United States would be of substantial benefit in deterring a serious situation of pillage and remedies less drastic are not available; and (4) that the application of import restrictions as set forth in the final rule is consistent with the general interests of the international community in the interchange of cultural property among nations for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes. The Assistant Secretary also found that the material described in the determinations meets the statutory definition of “archaeological or ethnological material of the State Party” (19 U.S.C. 2601(2)).

In accordance with the Agreement, importation of material designated below is subject to the restrictions of 19 U.S.C. 2606 and § 12.104g(a) of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 12.104g(a)) and will be restricted from entry into the United States unless the conditions set forth in 19 U.S.C. 2606 and § 12.104c of the CBP Regulations (19 CFR 12.104c) are met. CBP is amending § 12.104g(a) of the CBP Regulations (19 CFR 12.104g(a)) to indicate that these import restrictions have been imposed. Import restrictions listed as 19 CFR 12.104g(a) are effective for no more than five years beginning on the date on which the Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States. This period may be extended for additional periods of not more than five years if it is determined that the factors which justified the Agreement still pertain and no cause for suspension of the Agreement exists. The import restrictions will expire on March 24, 2026, unless extended.

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