Federal Register Notice:
April 15, 1991; 56(72): 15181-15182
(Amended 1997 )
DEPARTMENT OF THE
19 CFR Part 12
Imposed on Archaeological Artifacts From Guatemala
U.S. Customs Service, Department of the Treasury.
SUMMARY: This document
amends the Customs Regulations by imposing emergency import restrictions
on pre-Columbian culturally significant archaeological artifacts from the
Peten region of Guatemala. These restrictions are being imposed pursuant
to a Determination of the United States Information Agency issued under
authority of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act in
accordance with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing
the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property
April 15, 1991.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
CONTACT: Legal Aspects: Donnette Rimmer, Intellectual Property Rights Branch
(202) 566-6956. Operational Aspects: Pamela Wenner, Trade Operations (202)
The value of cultural
property, whether archaeological or ethnological in nature, is immeasurable.
Such items often constitute the very essence of a society and convey important
information concerning a people's origin, history, and traditional setting.
The importance and popularity of such items regrettably make them targets
of theft, encourages clandestine looting of archaeological sites, and results
in their illegal export and import.
The U.S. shares in
the international concern for the need to protect endangered cultural property.
The appearance in the U.S. of stolen or illegally exported artifacts from
other countries where there has been pillage has, on occasion, strained
our foreign and cultural relations. This situation, combined with the concerns
of museum, archaeological, and scholarly communities, was recognized by
the President and Congress. It became apparent that it was in the national
interest for the U.S. to join with other countries to control illegal trafficking
of such articles in international commerce.
The U.S. joined international
efforts and actively participated in deliberations resulting in the 1970
UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit
Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (823 U.N.T.S.
231 (1972)). U.S. acceptance of the 1970 UNESCO Convention was codified
into U.S. law as the "Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act"
(Pub. L. 97-446, 19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.). The spirit of the Convention
was enacted into law to promote U.S. leadership in achieving greater international
cooperation towards preserving cultural treasures that are of importance
not only to the nations whence they originate, but also to greater international
understanding of mankind's common heritage. The U.S. is, to date, the only
major art importing country to implement the 1970 Convention.
Customs issued regulations
to carry out the provisions of the Act as T.D. 86-52, published in the
Federal Register on February 27, 1986 (51 FR 6905), which took effect on
March 31, 1986. Those regulations were amended by T.D. 90-3, on January
19, 1990 (55 FR 1809), so that the public would have a listing of countries
and those T.D.s which contained detailed information on articles for which
import restrictions had been imposed under of the Act.
This document amends
the listing by adding the name of State Party "Guatemala" and the description
of the archaeological material from the Peten Archaeological Region contained
in this T.D. to the regulations. The document further describes the cultural
property from the Peten Archaeological Region for which import restrictions
Under section 303(a)(3)
of the Cultural Property Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 2602(a)(3)), the
Government of Guatemala, a State Party to the 1970 UNESCO Convention, asked
the U.S. Government to impose emergency import restrictions on certain
archaeological materials from the Peten region of Guatemala. This material,
identified as comprising part of Guatemala's cultural patrimony, the record
of the Maya culture found in the Peten region, was being pillaged, or is
in danger of being pillaged, in crisis proportions. Notice of receipt of
this request was published by the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) in the
Federal Register on October 23, 1989 (54 FR 43213).
On November 14, 1989,
the request was referred to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, which
conducted a review and investigation, and submitted its report in accordance
with the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 2605(f) to the Deputy Director, USIA,
on February 9, 1990. The Committee found the situation in Guatemala to
be an emergency, in accordance with the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 2603(a)(3),
and recommended that emergency import restrictions be imposed on archaeological
material from the Peten region. The Deputy Director, pursuant to the authority
vested in him under Executive Order 12555 and USIA Delegation Order 86-3,
considered the Committee's recommendations and made the determination that
emergency import restrictions be applied.
The Commissioner of
Customs, in consultation with the Deputy Director of the USIA, has drawn
up a list of types of covered archaeological material from the Peten region
of Guatemala. The materials on the list are subject to Sec. 12.104a(b),
Customs Regulations. As provided in 19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., and Sec. 12.104a(b),
Customs Regulations, listed material from this area may not be imported
into the U.S. unless accompanied by documentation certifying that the material
left Guatemala legally and not in violation of the laws of Guatemala.
In the event an importer
cannot produce the certificate, documentation, or evidence required by
Sec. 12.104c, Customs Regulations, at the time of making entry, Sec. 12.104d
provides that the district director shall take custody of the material
until the certificate, documentation, or evidence is presented. Section
12.104e provides that if the importer states in writing that he will not
attempt to secure the required certificate, documentation, or evidence,
or the importer does not present the required certificate, documentation,
or evidence to Customs within the time provided, the material shall be
seized and summarily forfeited to the U.S. in accordance with the provisions
of part 162, Customs Regulations (19 CFR part 162).
These import restrictions
of smaller, portable archaeological material are a logical extension of
the restrictions imposed by the 1972 Pre-Columbian Monumental or Architectural
Sculpture or Murals Statute (19 U.S.C. 2091- 2095), which denied entry
into the United States of segments of Maya monuments and stelae from the
Peten region since May 2, 1973.
Material From the Peten Region, Guatemala
The Peten Region has
yielded pre-Hispanic ceramic, stone, shell and bone artifacts. The Peten
region is defined as an area of approximately 40,000 square kilometers
which shares a border to the north with Campeche, Mexico and to the east
with Belize. To the west, it is bound by the Rio Usumacinta and Chiapas,
Mexico and to the south by the Guatemalan Highlands. The archaeological
material from the Peten region is part of the remains of the Lowland Maya
Culture. As this region is further excavated, it is expected that other
similar artifacts may be discovered. The following is a non- inclusive
list of types of artifacts which have been identified as originating in
the Peten region.
Ceramic vessels and other
ceramic forms from the Peten region are decorated with one or a combination
of two decorative techniques, regardless of the vessel's color. The decorative
* Altering the smooth
surface with incisions, punctures channels and similar work, or by adding
feet or bases, or handles;
* Adding decorative
designs, such as buttons, curls, little faces and similar designs, or especially
by painting with two or more colors.
The types of ceramic
Vases with straight or
rounded sides, sometimes with 3 feet, pedestal base or lid. Height, 9.9-29
Bowls, sometimes with
feet, base, or lid. Height, 8.7-21.5 cm.
Dishes and plates, sometimes
with 3 or 4 feet. Diameter, 17-62 cm.
Jars. Height, 16-38 cm.
Special Ceramic Forms
Drums. Height, 35-75 cm.
Figurines. Height, 5-6
Whistles. Height, 6-15
Miniature vessels. Height,
Effigy vessels. Height,
Moveable stone artifacts
from the Peten region are made from the following mineral components:
Jade or Green Stone, May
Have Traces of Red Pigment
Masks. Height, 14.5-28
Jaguar Figure. Length,
Earplug. Diameter, 3.5-9
Obsidian Length, 3-20
Flint Length, 10-15 cm.
Alabaster or Calcite Height
(Vase), 6-23 cm.
Shell artifacts from the
Peten region may be carved or incised into human or animal or other shapes
and designs and may have traces of red pigment. Height, 4-6.5 cm; length,
5-32 cm; diameter, 5-7 cm.
Bone artifacts from the
Peten region may be carved or incised into human or animal or other shapes
and designs and may have traces of red pigment. Length, 6.5-7 cm.
Because no Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking is required, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply. Accordingly, this final rule is
not subject to the regulatory analysis or other requirements of 5 U.S.C.
603 and 604.
This document does
not meet the criteria for a "major rule" as specified in E.O. 12291. Accordingly,
no regulatory impact analysis has been prepared.
of Notice and Delayed Effective Date
Because this amendment
imposes emergency import restrictions on cultural property which is currently
subject to pillage and looting, pursuant to section 553(b)(B) of the Administrative
Procedure Act, no notice of proposed rulemaking or public procedure is
necessary. For the same reason, a delayed effective date is both impracticable
and contrary to the public interest.
The principal author
of this document was Peter T. Lynch, Regulations and Disclosure Law Branch,
U.S. Customs Service. However, personnel from other offices participated
in its development.
List of Subjects
in 19 CFR Part 12
Customs duties and
inspections, Imports, Cultural property.
Amendment to the
Accordingly, part 12
of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR part 12) is amended as set forth below:
1. The general and
specific authority citation for part 12 continues to read as follows:
U.S.C. 301, 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General note 8, Harmonized Tariff Schedule
of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624.* * * Secs. 12.104- 12.104i also issued
under 19 U.S.C. 2612.
Sec. 12.104g [Amended].
2. Section 12.104g(b)
is amended by adding "Guatemala" under the column headed "State Party",
the description "Archaeological material from the Peten Archaeological
Region forming part of the remains of the ancient Maya culture" under the
column headed "Cultural Property", and "91-34" in the column headed "T.D.
Approved: April 10,
Peter K. Nunez,
of the Treasury.
[FR Doc. 91-8788 Filed
4-12-91; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4820-02-M
| Site Index | Disclaimer
& Credits | Contact Us | Back
Revised: March 12, 1999
FROM THE FOLLOWING:
Federal Register Notice (html) (text)
Frequently Asked Questions