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The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild has become a driving force in the ongoing effort to protect coin collectors and museums in which coins are stored from being forced to give up these items to foreign governments under the premise the coins are the cultural patrimony of the claimant nation. — Richard Giedroyc, World Coin News April 26, 2010

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Michael McCullough briefs on CBP / ICE policies

Michael McCullough speaks at ACCG meeting in NY

By Wayne G. Sayles |
January 18, 2011




Michael McCullough, a New York based attorney specializing in Customs issues spoke to ACCG members at the NYINC open meeting of the Guild on January 8, 2011.  McCullough began working in the art market in 1998 when he was recruited by Sotheby's to help build a trade compliance program for international trade in art. He explained how the Schultz case in 2002 changed the importance of provenance in significant cultural objects.   This case codified application of the National Stolen Property Act, a U.S. law, in relation to cultural objects from other countries.  At about the same time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created and Customs was merged with Border Protection elements of government (CBP) and was aligned under DHS, as was Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  This restructuring, fueled by training at the Smithsonian Institute and inflammatory charges of illicit art funding terrorism, led to proactive investigation of art markets that have resulted in an increase in seizures, prosecutions and repatriations.   McCullough, who is retained by ACCG to assist in the Baltimore litigation against CBP and Department of State, offered some advice to attendees on assuring compliance with applicable laws and import regulations.

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