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Import Restrictions Imposed on Pre-Classical and Classical Archaeological Material Originating in Cyprus

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Customs Service, Treasury.


Final rule.


This document amends the Customs Regulations to reflect the imposition of import restrictions on certain archaeological material originating in Cyprus and representing the pre-Classical and Classical periods of its cultural heritage, ranging in date from approximately the 8th millennium B.C. to approximately 330 A.D. These restrictions are being imposed pursuant to an agreement between the United States and the Republic of Cyprus that has been entered into under the 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. The document amends the Customs Regulations by adding Cyprus to the list of countries for which an agreement has been entered into for imposing import restrictions. The document also contains the Designated List of Archaeological Material that describes the types of articles to which the restrictions apply.


July 19, 2002.

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(Legal Aspects) Joseph Howard, Intellectual Property Rights Branch (202) 572-8701; (Operational Aspects) Al Morawski, Trade Operations (202) 927-0402.

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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 makes 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 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 to achieving greater international understanding of mankind's common heritage.

During the past several years, import restrictions have been imposed on archaeological and ethnological artifacts of a number of signatory nations. These restrictions have been imposed as a result of requests for protection received from those nations as well as pursuant to bilateral agreements between the United States and other countries. More information on import restrictions can be found on the International Cultural Property Protection web site (​culprop).

Import restrictions are now being imposed on certain archaeological material of Cyprus representing the pre-Classical and Classical periods of its cultural heritage as the result of a bilateral agreement entered into between the United States and the Republic of Cyprus. This agreement was entered into on July 16, 2002, pursuant to the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 2602. Accordingly, § 12.104g(a) of the Customs Regulations is being amended to indicate that restrictions have been imposed pursuant to the agreement between the United States and Cyprus. This document amends the regulations by imposing import restrictions on certain archaeological material from Cyprus as described below.

It is noted that emergency import restrictions on Byzantine Ecclesiastical and Ritual Ethnological Material from Cyprus were previously imposed and are still in effect. (See T.D. 99-35, published in the Federal Register (64 FR 17529) on April 12, 1999.) These emergency import restrictions are separate and independent from the restrictions published in this document.

Material Encompassed in Import Restrictions

In reaching the decision to recommend protection for the cultural patrimony of Cyprus, the Associate Director for Educational and Cultural Affairs of the former United States Information Agency determined that, pursuant to the requirements of the Act, the cultural patrimony of Cyprus is in jeopardy from the pillage of archaeological materials which represent its pre-Classical and Classical heritage. Dating from approximately the 8th millennium B.C. to approximately 330 A.D., categories of restricted artifacts include ceramic vessels, sculpture, and inscriptions; stone vessels, sculpture, architectural elements, seals, amulets, inscriptions, stelae, and mosaics; metal vessels, stands sculpture, and personal objects. These materials are of cultural significance because Cypriot culture is among the oldest in the Mediterranean. While Cypriot culture derives from interactions with neighboring societies, it is uniquely Cypriotic in character and represents the history and development of the island about which important information continues to be found through in situ archaeological research.

The restrictions imposed in this document apply to objects from throughout the island of Cyprus.

Designated List

The bilateral agreement between Cyprus and the United States covers the categories of artifacts described in a Designated List of Archaeological Material from Cyprus, which is set forth below. Importation of articles on this list is restricted unless the articles are accompanied by an appropriate export certificate issued by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus or documentation demonstrating that the articles left the country of origin prior to the effective date of the import restriction. Start Printed Page 47448

Archaeological Material From Cyprus Representing Pre-Classical and Classical Periods Ranging in Date From Approximately the 8th Millennium B.C. to Approximately 330 A.D.

I. Ceramic

A. Vessels

1. Neolithic and Chalcolithic (c. 7500-2300 B.C.)—Bowls and jars, including spouted vessels. Varieties include Combed ware, Black Lustrous ware, Red Lustrous ware, and Red-on-White painted ware. Approximately 10-24 cm in height.

2. Early Bronze Age (c. 2300-1850 B.C.)—Forms are hand-made and include bowls, jugs, juglets, jars, and specialized forms, such as askoi, pyxides, gourd-shape, multiple-body vessels, and vessels with figurines attached. Cut-away spouts, multiple spouts, basket handles, and round bases commonly occur. Incised, punctured, molded, and applied ornament, as well as polishing and slip, are included in the range of decorative techniques. Approximately 13-60 cm in height.

3. Middle Bronze Age (c. 1850-1550 B.C.)—Forms are hand-made and include bowls, jugs, juglets, jars, zoomorphic askoi, bottles, amphorae, and amphoriskoi. Some have multiple spouts and basket or ribbon handles. Decorative techniques include red and brown paint, incised or applied decoration, and polishing. Varieties include Red Polished ware, White Painted ware, Black Slip ware, Red Slip ware, and Red-on-Black ware. Approximately 4-25 cm in height.

4. Late Bronze Age (c. 1550-1050 B.C.)—Forms include bowls, jars, jugs and juglets, tankards, rhyta, bottles, kraters, alabastra, stemmed cups, cups, stirrup jars, amphorae, and amphoriskoi. A wide variety of spouts, handles, and bases are common. Zoomorphic vessels also occur. Decorative techniques include painted design in red or brown, polishing, and punctured or incised decoration. Varieties include White Slip, Base Ring ware, White Shaved ware, Red Lustrous ware, Bichrome Wheel-made ware, and Proto-White Painted ware. Some examples of local or imported Mycenaean Late Helladic III have also been found. Approximately 5-50 cm in height.

5. Cypro-Geometric I-III (c. 1050-750 B.C.)—Forms include bowls, jugs, juglets, jars, cups, skyphoi, amphorae, amphoriskos, and tripods. A variety of spouts, handles and base forms are used. Decorative techniques include paint in dark brown and red, ribbing, polish, and applied projections. Varieties include White Painted I-II wares, Black Slip I-II wares, Bichrome II-III wares, and Black-on-Red ware. Approximately 7-30 cm in height.

6. Cypro-Archaic I-II (c. 750-475 B.C.)—Forms include bowls, plates, jugs and juglets, cups, kraters, amphoriskoi, oinochoe, and amphorae. Many of the forms are painted with bands, lines, concentric circles, and other geometric and floral patterns. Animal designs occur in the Free Field style. Molded decoration in the form of female figurines may also be applied. Red and dark brown paint is used on Bichrome ware. Black paint on a red polished surface is common on Black-on-Red ware. Other varieties include Bichrome Red, Polychrome Red, and Plain White. Approximately 12-45 cm in height.

7. Cypro-Classical I-II (c. 475-325 B.C.)—Forms include bowls, shallow dishes, jugs and juglets, oinochoai, and amphorae. The use of painted decoration in red and brown, as well as blue/green and black continues. Some vessels have molded female figurines applied. Decorative designs include floral and geometric patterns. Burnishing also occurs. Varieties include Polychrome Red, Black-on-Red, Polychrome Red, Stroke Burnished, and White Painted wares. Approximately 6-40 cm in height.

8. Hellenistic (c. 325 B.C.-50 B.C.)—Forms include bowls, dishes, cups, unguentaria, jugs and juglets, pyxides, and amphorae. Most of the ceramic vessels of the period are undecorated. Those that are decorated use red, brown, or white paint in simple geometric patterns. Ribbing is also a common decorative technique. Some floral patterns are also used. Varieties include Glazed Painted ware and Glazed ware. Imports include Megarian bowls. Approximately 5-25 cm in height.

9. Roman (c. 50 B.C.-330 A.D.)—Forms include bowls, dishes, cups, jugs and juglets, unguentaria, amphora, and cooking pots. Decorative techniques include incision, embossing, molded decoration, grooved decoration, and paint. Varieties include Terra Sigillata and Glazed and Green Glazed wares. Approximately 5-55 cm in height.

B. Sculpture

1. Terracotta Figurines (small statuettes)

(a) Neolithic to Late Bronze Age (c. 7500-1050 B.C.)—Figurines are small, hand-made, and schematic in form. Most represent female figures, often standing and sometimes seated and giving birth or cradling an infant. Features and attributes are marked with incisions or paint. Figurines occur in Red-on-White ware, Red Polished ware, Red-Drab Polished ware, and Base Ring ware. Approximately 10-25 cm in height.

(b) Cypro-Geometric to Cypro-Archaic (c. 1050-475 B.C.)—Figurines show a greater diversity of form than earlier figurines. Female figurines are still common, but forms also include male horse-and-rider figurines; warrior figures; animals such as birds, bulls and pigs; tubular figurines; boat models; and human masks. In the Cypro-Archaic period, terra cotta models illustrate a variety of daily activities, including the process of making pottery and grinding grain. Other examples include musicians and men in chariots. Approximately 7-19 cm in height.

(c) Cypro-Classical to Roman (c. 475 B.C.-330 A.D.)—Figurines mirror the classical tradition of Greece and Roman. Types include draped women, nude youths, and winged figures. Approximately 9-20 cm in height.

2. Large Scale Terracotta Figurines—Dating to the Cypro-Archaic period (c. 750-475 B.C.), full figures about half life-size, are commonly found in sanctuaries. Illustrated examples include the head of a woman decorated with rosettes and a bearded male with spiral-decorated helmet. Approximately 50-150 cm in height.

3. Funerary Statuettes—Dating to the Cypro-Classical period (c. 475-325 B.C.), these illustrate both male and female figures draped, often seated, as expressions of mourning. Approximately 25-50 cm in height.

C. Inscriptions

Writing on clay is restricted to the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550-1050 B.C.). These occur on clay tablets, weights, and clay balls. Approximately 2-7 cm in height.

II. Stone

A. Vessels

Ground stone vessels occur from the Neolithic to the Hellenistic period (c. 7500-50 B.C.). Early vessels are from local hard stone. Most are bowl-shaped; some are trough-shaped with spouts and handles. Neolithic vessels often have incised or perforated decoration. Late Bronze Age vessels include amphoriskoi and kraters with handles. Sometimes these have incised decoration. Alabaster was also used for stone vessels in the Late Bronze Age and Hellenistic period. In the latter period, stone vessels are produced in the same shapes as ceramic vessels: amphorae, unguentaria, etc. Approximately 10-30 cm in height.

B. Sculpture

1. Neolithic to Chalcolithic (c. 7500-2300 B.C.)—Forms include small scale Start Printed Page 47449human heads, fiddle-shaped human figures, steatopygous female figures, cruciform idols with incised decoration, and animal figures. Andesite and limestone are commonly used in these periods. Approximately 5-30 cm in height.

2. Cypro-Classical (c. 475-325 B.C.)—Small scale to life-size human figures, whole and fragments, in limestone and marble, are similar to the Classical tradition in local styles. Examples include the limestone head of a youth in Neo-Cypriote style, votive female figures in Proto-Cypriot style, a kouros in Archaic Greek style, statues and statuettes representing Classical gods such as Zeus and Aphrodite, as well as portrait heads of the Greek and Roman periods. Approximately 10-200 cm in height.

C. Architectural Elements

Sculpted stone building elements occur from the 5th century B.C. through the 3rd century A.D. These include columns and column capitals, relief decoration, chancel panels, window frames, revetments, offering tables, coats of arms, and gargoyles.

D. Seals

Dating from the Neolithic (7500 B.C.) through 3rd century A.D., conical seals, scarabs, cylinder seals, and bread stamps are incised with geometric decoration, pictoral scenes, and inscriptions. Approximately 2-12 cm in height.

E. Amulets and Pendants

Dating to the Chalcolithic period, these pendants are made of picrolite and are oval or rectangular in form. Approximately 4-5 cm in length.

F. Inscriptions

Inscribed stone materials date from the 6th century B.C. through the 3rd century A.D. During the Cypro-Classical period, funerary stelae, and votive plaques were inscribed. From the 1st to the 3rd century A.D. funerary plaques, mosaic floors, and building plaques were inscribed.

G. Funerary Stelae (uninscribed)

Funerary stelae date from the 6th century B.C. to the end of the Hellenistic period (c. 50 B.C.). Marble and other stone sculptural monuments have relief decoration of animals or human figures seated or standing. Stone coffins also have relief decoration. Approximately 50-155 cm in height.

H. Floor Mosaics

Floor mosaics date as early as the 4th century B.C. in domestic and public contexts and continue to be produced through the 3rd century A.D. Examples include the mosaics at Nea Paphos, Kourion, and Kouklia.

III. Metal

A. Copper/Bronze

1. Vessels—Dating from the Bronze Age (c. 2300 B.C.) through the 3rd century A.D., bronze vessel forms include bowls, cups, amphorae, jugs, juglets, pyxides, dippers, lamp stands, dishes, and plates. Approximately 4-30 cm in height.

2. Bronze Stands—Dating from the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550 B.C.) through the end of the Classical period (c. 325 B.C.), are bronze stands with animal decoration.

3. Sculpture—Dating from the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550) to the end of the Hellenistic period (c. 50 B.C.), small figural sculpture includes human forms with attached attributes such as spears or goblets, animal figures, animal- and vessel-shaped weights, and Classical representations of gods and mythological figures. Approximately 5-25 cm in height.

4. Personal Objects—Dating from the Early Bronze Age (c. 2300 B.C.) to the end of the Roman period (330 A.D.), forms include toggle pins, straight pins, fibulae, and mirrors.

B. Silver

1. Vessels—Dating from the Bronze Age (c. 2300 B.C.) through the end of the Roman period (330 A.D.), forms include bowls, dishes, coffee services, and ceremonial objects such as incense burners. These are often decorated with molded or incised geometric motifs or figural scenes.

2. Jewelry—Dating from the Cypro-Geometric period (c. 1050 B.C.) through the end of the Roman period (330 A.D.), forms include fibulae, rings, bracelets, and spoons.

C. Gold Jewelry

Gold jewelry has been found on Cyprus from the Early Bronze Age (c. 2300 B.C.) through the end of the Roman period (330 A.D.). Items include hair ornaments, bands, frontlets, pectorals, earrings, necklaces, rings, pendants, plaques, beads, and bracelets.

Inapplicability of Notice and Delayed Effective Date

Because the amendment to the Customs Regulations contained in this document imposing import restrictions on the above-listed cultural property of Cyprus is being made in response to a bilateral agreement entered into in furtherance of the foreign affairs interests of the United States, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)), no notice of proposed rulemaking or public procedure is necessary. For the same reason, a delayed effective date is not required pursuant to 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. Accordingly, this final rule is not subject to the regulatory analysis or other requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604.

Executive Order 12866

This amendment does not meet the criteria of a “significant regulatory action” as described in E.O. 12866.

Drafting Information

The principal author of this document was Bill Conrad, Regulations Branch, Office of Regulations and Rulings, U.S. Customs Service. However, personnel from other offices participated in its development.

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List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 12

  • Customs duties and inspections
  • Imports
  • Cultural property
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Amendment to the Regulations

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Accordingly, Part 12 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 12) is amended as set forth below:

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1. The general authority and specific authority citations for Part 12, in part, continue to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 22, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624;

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Sections 12.104 through 12.104i also issued under 19 U.S.C. 2612;

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2. In § 12.104g, paragraph (a), the list of agreements imposing import restrictions on described articles of cultural property of State Parties, is amended by adding Cyprus in appropriate alphabetical order as follows: Start Printed Page 47450

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StateCultural propertyT.D. No.
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CyprusArchaeological Material of pre-Classical and Classical periods ranging approximately from the 8th millennium B.C. to 330 A.D.T.D. 02-37
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Dated: July 16, 2002.

Robert C. Bonner,

Commissioner of Customs.

Timothy E. Skud,

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.

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[FR Doc. 02-18342 Filed 7-17-02; 10:29 am]