American Numismatic Association opposes import restrictions

[COLORADO SPRINGS, CO] In response to legislation being considered by the United States House of Representatives and recommendations being considered by the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) regarding import restrictions on ancient numismatic objects, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) has taken a formal position opposing the legislation and recommendations. 

HR 915, legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, could impose import restrictions on numismatic materials from Afghanistan. If numismatic items are included in this legislation, it could become illegal to buy, sell or own ancient Greek coinage that was created and/or traded in what is now Afghanistan. “The ANA is deeply concerned about the impact that this legislation, if passed, could have on a significant portion of the ANA membership’s collecting interests,” said ANA President William Horton. 

Trade restrictions are also being considered for recommendation by CPAC, a committee that rejected numismatic import restrictions in 1999, regarding imports of ancient Italian numismatics which would include Roman and Greek coinage. Like HR 915, these import restrictions, if passed, could make the ownership of highly collectible ancient coinage illegal. 

According to ANA’s Executive Director, Christopher Cipoletti, “the Association recognizes the need to protect cultural antiquities and prevent raiding of a country’s historical icons. However, numismatic items are not the type of material that should be included in antiquities legislation.” In stating the ANA’s position, Cipoletti told the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade and CPAC that “coins and other forms of money were often mass produced making them a common circulating item of trade and barter rather than the type of antiquity intended to be protected” by import restrictions. 

The ANA encourages its entire membership to voice an opinion to CPAC and to the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. CPAC may be contacted by facsimile addressed to its chairman, Jay I. Kislak at (202) 260-4893. The Ways and Means Subcommittee may be addressed by letter or statement through the link on its website at http://waysandmeans.house.gov. 

The American Numismatic Association is a non-profit corporation dedicated to educating and encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. With nearly 33,000 members, the Association serves the collecting community and the general public with an interest in numismatics. The ANA helps all people discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of programs including its education and outreach, museum, library, publications, conventions and seminars. 

For more information about the ANA, contact us at 719.632.2646 or visit us online at www.money.org. 

Originally Release Date: August 24, 2005
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9830
                             Email: cipoletti@moeny.org