[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 43 (Tuesday, March 5, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 14183-14185]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05151]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

19 CFR Part 12

[CBP Dec. 13-05]
RIN 1515-AD94


Import Restrictions Imposed on Certain Archaeological Material 
From Belize

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security; Department of the Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule amends the U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP) regulations to reflect the imposition of import restrictions on 
certain archaeological material from Belize. These restrictions are 
being imposed pursuant to an agreement between the United States and 
Belize that has been entered into under the authority of the Convention 
on Cultural Property Implementation Act in accordance with the 1970 
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. 
The final rule amends CBP regulations by adding Belize to the list of 
countries for which a bilateral agreement has been entered into for 
imposing cultural property import restrictions. The final rule also 
contains the designated list that describes the types of archaeological 
material to which the restrictions apply.

DATES: Effective Date: March 5, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For legal aspects, George Frederick 
McCray, Chief, Cargo Security, Carriers and Restricted Merchandise 
Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, (202) 
325-0082. For operational aspects: Virginia McPherson, Chief, 
Interagency Requirements Branch, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of 
International Trade, (202) 863-6563.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The value of cultural property 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 makes 
them targets of theft, encourages clandestine looting of archaeological 
sites, and results in their illegal export and import.
    The United States shares in the international concern for the need 
to protect endangered cultural property. The appearance in the United 
States 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 United States to join with other countries to 
control illegal trafficking of such articles in international commerce.
    The United States joined international efforts and actively 
participated in deliberations resulting in the 1970 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 (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 Act). This was done 
to promote U.S. leadership in achieving greater international 
cooperation towards preserving cultural treasures that are of 
importance to the nations from where they originate and contribute to 
greater international understanding of our common heritage.
    Since the Act entered into force, import restrictions have been 
imposed on the archaeological materials of a number of State Parties to 
the 1970 UNESCO Convention. These restrictions have been imposed as a 
result of requests for protection received from those nations. More 
information on import restrictions can be found on the Cultural 
Property Protection Web site (http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/culprop.html).
    This document announces that import restrictions are now being 
imposed on certain archaeological material from Belize.

Determinations

    Under 19 U.S.C. 2602(a)(1), the United States must make certain 
determinations before entering into an agreement to impose import 
restrictions under 19 U.S.C. 2602(a)(2). On September 19, 2012, the 
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. 
Department of State, made the determinations required under the statute 
with respect to certain archaeological material originating in Belize 
that are described in the designated list set forth below in this 
document. These determinations include the following: (1) That the 
cultural patrimony of Belize is in jeopardy from the pillage of 
archaeological material originating in Belize from approximately 9000 
B.C. up to 250 years old representing the Pre-Columbian era through the 
Early and Late Colonial Periods (19 U.S.C. 2602(a)(1)(A)); (2) that the 
Government of Belize has taken measures consistent with the Convention 
to protect its cultural patrimony (19 U.S.C. 2602(a)(1)(B)); (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 (19 U.S.C. 2602(a)(1)(C)); and 
(4) that the application of import restrictions as set forth in this 
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 (19 U.S.C. 
2602(a)(1)(D)). The Assistant Secretary also found that the material 
described in the determinations meet the statutory definitions of 
``archaeological material of the state party'' (19 U.S.C. 2601(2)).

The Agreement

    On February 27, 2013, the United States and Belize entered into a 
bilateral agreement pursuant to the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 2602(a)(2). 
The agreement enables the promulgation of import restrictions on 
categories of archaeological material representing Belize's cultural 
heritage that is at least 250 years old, dating from the Pre-Ceramic 
(from approximately 9000 B.C.), Pre-Classic, Classic, and Post-Classic 
Periods of the Pre-Columbian era through the Early and Late Colonial 
Periods. A list of the categories of archaeological material subject to 
the import restrictions is set forth later in this document.

[[Page 14184]]

Restrictions and Amendment to the Regulations

    In accordance with the Agreement, importation of material 
designated below is subject to the restrictions of 19 U.S.C. 2606 and 
Sec.  12.104g(a) of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 
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 
Sec.  12.104c of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 12.104c) are met. CBP is 
amending Sec.  12.104g(a) of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 12.104g(a)) to 
indicate that these import restrictions have been imposed.

Designated List of Archaeological Material of Belize

    The bilateral agreement between the United States and Belize 
includes, but is not limited to, the categories of objects described in 
the designated list set forth below. Any dimensions listed are 
approximations and the import restrictions include complete examples of 
objects and fragments thereof. These categories of objects are subject 
to the import restrictions set forth above, in accordance with the 
above explained applicable law and the regulation amended in this 
document (19 CFR 12.104(g)(a)).
    The archeological material covered under this agreement originated 
in Belize, from the following periods: Archaic, Pre-Classic, Classic, 
Post-Classic, and Early and Late Colonial Periods. The import 
restrictions apply to archeological material, described below, ranging 
in date from approximately 9000 B.C. to at least 250 years old, 
including, but not limited to, objects comprised of ceramic, stone, 
metal, shell, bone, glass, and wood.
    I. Ceramic/Terracotta/Fired Clay--Unpainted, monochrome, bichrome, 
and polychrome. Decorative motifs include human, animal, and hybrid 
figures; curvilinear and rectilinear abstract designs; mythological and 
historic scenes; and other motifs. Decorative techniques include: 
painting, fluting, gouging, incisions, and modeling, among others. 
Forms vary considerably, and may include lids, tripod feet, or other 
supplementary decoration.
    A. Common Vessels
    1. Vases and bottles--(10-50 cm ht).
    2. Bowls--(5-25 cm ht).
    3. Dishes and plates--(10-50 cm diam).
    4. Jars--(10-100 cm ht).
    5. Bottles--(5-50 cm ht).
    B. Special Forms
    1. Figurines--(5-20 cm ht).
    2. Whistles, rattles and flutes--(5-20 cm ht).
    3. Miniature vessels--(5-10 cm ht).
    4. Stamps and seals.
    5. Effigy vessels--(15-50 cm ht).
    6. Incense burners--(25-50 cm ht).
    7. Drums--(10-50 cm ht).
    II. Stone--Objects in any type of stone, including jade, 
greenstone, obsidian, flint, alabaster/calcite, limestone, slate, or 
other.
    A. Tools--forms such as points, blades, scrapers, hoes, grinding 
stones, eccentrics and, others.
    B. Jewelry--forms such as necklaces, earplugs, pendants, beads, and 
others.
    C. Monumental Stone Art--forms such as stelae, round altars, 
architectural elements, and others.
    D. Vessels--forms such as bowls and vases.
    E. Figurines--forms such as human, animal, and mythological 
creatures.
    F. Masks--burial masks of variable stone composition.
    G. Mirrors--round or rectangular forms composed of pyrite pieces.
    III. Metal--Objects in copper, gold, silver, brass, or other. 
Beaten or cast into shape, often decorated with engraving, inlay, 
puncturing, or attachments.
    IV. Shell--Objects made out of modified shell, often decorated with 
incisions or inlays.
    V. Bone--Objects made out of modified human or animal bone, 
including tools, such as hooks and punches; jewelry, such as necklaces 
and pendants; and objects for ritual use.
    VI. Glass--Objects made of glass, including utilitarian forms such 
as bottles, beads, figurines, and others.
    VII. Wood--Objects made of wood, including utilitarian forms such 
as canoes, vessels, tools, and others; and ritual forms, such as 
crosses, figurines, and others.

Inapplicability of Notice and Delayed Effective Date

    This amendment involves a foreign affairs function of the United 
States and is, therefore, being made without notice or public procedure 
(5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). For the same reason, a delayed effective date is 
not required under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    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.

Executive Order 12866

    Because this rule involves a foreign affairs function of the United 
States, it is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

Signing Authority

    This regulation is being issued in accordance with 19 CFR 
0.1(a)(1).

List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 12

    Cultural property, Customs duties and inspection, Imports, 
Prohibited merchandise, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Amendment to CBP Regulations

    For the reasons set forth above, part 12 of Title 19 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (19 CFR part 12), is amended as set forth below:

PART 12--SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE

0
1. The general authority citation for part 12 and the specific 
authority citation for Sec.  12.104g continue to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), 
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624.
* * * * *
    Sections 12.104 through 12.104i also issued under 19 U.S.C. 
2612;
* * * * *

0
2. In Sec.  12.104g, paragraph (a), the table is amended by adding 
Belize to the list in appropriate alphabetical order as follows:


Sec.  12.104g  Specific items or categories designated by agreements or 
emergency actions.

    (a) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
       State party          Cultural property         Decision No.
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Belize...................  Archaeological       CBP Dec. 13 -05.
                            material
                            representing
                            Belize's cultural
                            heritage that is
                            at least 250 years
                            old, dating from
                            the Pre-Ceramic
                            (from
                            approximately 9000
                            B.C.), Pre-
                            Classic, Classic,
                            and Post-Classic
                            Periods of the Pre-
                            Columbian era
                            through the Early
                            and Late Colonial
                            Periods.
 
                              * * * * * * *
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[[Page 14185]]

* * * * *

    Approved: March 1, 2013.
David V. Aguilar,
Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
[FR Doc. 2013-05151 Filed 3-4-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-14-P