I Need Help With Shipping From Switzerland

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Numisnewbiest, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Numisnewbiest

    Numisnewbiest Well-Known Member

    The Swiss seller where I bought my Marcus Agrippa coin just emailed and asked me this:

    "Can you write me how much is the duty free in America. I would like to write on the declination only so much so that they do not have to pay customs duties.".

    I have no idea what he's talking about. Can anyone give me any idea of how to respond to him?
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  3. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    1.) There is no import duty for antique coins coming into the United States. 2.) Falsifying a Customs declaration or conspiring to do so is a crime.
    tibor, Orielensis, fretboard and 4 others like this.
  4. Numisnewbiest

    Numisnewbiest Well-Known Member

    Well, first of all, I'm not "conspiring" to do anything - I was asking for clarification because I don't have experience with buying ancient coins, especially from overseas. This is only the second time I've ever bought from Europe, and it's the first time a seller has ever emailed asking about the shipping and "duty free" and "custom duties". Since yours was the only reply, I emailed him back and said there are no import duties for coins shipped to the U.S.
  5. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    I wrote "or conspire to do so" for the benefit of others reading this thread who may be tempted to ask a seller to undervalue a shipment. Clearly, your intent was only to understand what the seller is asking.
  6. jules clay

    jules clay New Member

    Whoa there! There's a larger issue here - whether the coin can legally be imported into the US. You and your dealer need to familiarize with the relevant Memoranda of Understanding controlling the import of cultural property into the US. Prior to 2021, your Marcus Agrippa would be okay for import because coins from Italy struck after 211BC were kosher. The Memorandum with Italy was up for renewal in January 2021 with a proposal that the updated agreement would restrict importation of Italian coins struck through the period of the Empire (and perhaps later - I'm not sure) unless provenance could be proven. Whether this new agreement was put into effect I'm not sure - I just haven't had any reason to track it. But you need to be aware of this matter and proceed cautiously.
  7. Numisnewbiest

    Numisnewbiest Well-Known Member

    No Rome-minted imperial coins, struck through the centuries of the empire, will be allowed to be imported into the U.S. without provenance? Good lord, if that became law, do tell.
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    I have had shipments successfully sent to me from a dealer in Switzerland who used DHL. This way lengthy stays in the New York ISC by the USPS are avoided. I don't believe any value was declared on the shipping form.

    Also, on the question of the US-Italy memorandum I am not sure what the outcome was. There was an opportunity to leave comments on the website which many CT members did (including me). There was a thread here on the Forum that discussed it in detail a number of months ago. (Can't find the thread or I would post it here). Maybe another CTer remembers this and can find the thread.

    Edit: here's a link to the thread I remembered discussing the MOU

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  9. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    This page is the State Department's list of memoranda currently in effect with links to detail pages outlining the specifics of what is included country by country. Unfortunately, there is no master list of restricted coin types. One needs to check each country individually. Some are little-discussed, such as coins of Carthage, Numidia and Mauretania under the Algeria memorandum. The 2016 agreement seems to be still in place for Italy.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I don't have time to do the research right now, but I think I read recently that the proposed additional restrictions to the 2016 MOU with Italy, to which quite a few CT members submitted opposing comments, are still being considered and have not yet been approved. Also, this is one of the minority of cases where the absence of evidence is tantamount to evidence of absence: the idea that these restrictions could possibly have been enacted without major, ubiquitous coverage in the press and in the online numismatic world is inconceivable.

    So I believe that @jules clay's "Whoa there" wasn't necessary right now. Dealers, buyers, and U.S. Customs are all rightfully continuing to operate in accordance with the previous MOU with Italy, under which there are no restrictions on the importation into the United States of ancient Roman coins (except for certain specified types of early Republican coinage) from countries other than Italy, except insofar as MOUs with such other countries may apply.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  11. Numisnewbiest

    Numisnewbiest Well-Known Member

    My coin was sent from Switzerland last Saturday (Jan. 23) and arrived in the U.S. yesterday (Jan. 28), I assume in New York. Now we'll see how long it takes to go one state west to Pennsylvania.
    DonnaML likes this.
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