US Customs Notice of Detention - Options?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by robinjojo, May 14, 2021.

  1. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    I just received a letter from US Customs and Border Protection, informing me that an ancient coin that I ordered from Athena Numismatics, Canada, in April is being detained pending either:

    1. the submission of either documentation of an export certificate from Canada, or

    2. documentation of provenance (owner and collection) and showing that the coin legally left the country of origin.

    This is the first time that I have encountered this issue. Apparently the letter was selected for examination by CBP officers (such an honor!). It also appears that this coin is classified by CBP as an "OLD COIN +100 YRS / YEMEN".

    Does anyone have suggestions for next steps?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Does it historically come from Yemen? Is it himyarite or sabean? If the country is completely wrong, (happens a lot since customs do not know coins at all), that could be your get out of jail pass.
     
    robinjojo likes this.
  4. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    robinjojo, Many of us have been through this annoying procedure. Fill out the paperwork & wait. Eventually you'll be granted an OK & you won't have to go through it anymore :happy:.
     
    Ryro and robinjojo like this.
  5. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter


    This coin is a Qataban tetradrachm from the area of Southern Arabia. Whether that includes Yemen or parts of Saudi Arabia, I'm not exactly sure.

    Thanks
     
  6. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you, Al.

    What paperwork does this entail? I don't have an export certificate from Canada, nor do I have precise provenance information to the level US Customs is requesting. Is there a form that I need to complete?
     
  7. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Ask them to email the forms, make copies of them, fill them out & fax them the finished forms. You won't have to fill them out completely, so ask the sender exactly what info they need. It's not difficult, just annoying & time consuming :mad:.
     
    Orfew and NOS like this.
  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you.

    Are these forms provided by US Customs? The letter does not mention them. Is there an email address or a website to upload the forms?
     
  9. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    When I had a shipment detained it was FedEx who was holding up the shipment per Customs. I asked them to send me the forms & they were helpful about expediting the process. The FedEx agent I dealt with was working from his home & had a huge backlog of blocked shipments, so he was eager to push my shipment through :smuggrin:.
     
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  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you, Al.

    This shipment went through Express Mail, Canada, so I guess that I need to request the forms from them? I have queried Athena Numismatics about the situation a few times, but without any response. I'm also trying to reach out to Vcoins for assistance.
     
  11. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    That's correct, Express Mail Canada should email you the forms. The vendor you bought the coin from has nothing to do with this process ;).
     
    robinjojo likes this.
  12. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Just one more question: What forms should I request?

    Thanks
     
  13. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    I'm sure Canada is different than the U.S., however, the forms should be similar. The forms they sent me were from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Again, whoever is blocking delivery of your shipment should know exactly what forms you'll need.
     
  14. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Oh joy! More forms. Just finished my 2020 taxes and mailed them off, plus a portion of 2019 LT capital gains which the investment firm misreported to the IRS.
     
  15. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    I just got off the line with Canada Post. They do not have any forms related to items being detained by US Customs, so my next step is to contact US Customs. Busy signal so far.....
     
  16. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Nothing to offer than a wish of good luck mate, sounds like a pain to deal with for sure. Also, poor form from Athena Numismatics for being unresponsive.
     
    DonnaML and robinjojo like this.
  17. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Making me nervous. I buy from overseas auctions often, in fact waiting for a package from Nomos as we speak.
     
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  18. KeviniswhoIam

    KeviniswhoIam Well-Known Member

    This just happened to me....anything over $2500 and you need that form......I had them send me a secure form, filled it out and literally had the coins the next day from Roma. Hellloooo, Gaius Germanicus!
     
    robinjojo likes this.
  19. KeviniswhoIam

    KeviniswhoIam Well-Known Member

    me too...one win on the last auction.....they accepted the payment, but I havent gotten the coin yet!
     
  20. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    So, the value is over $,2500. My shipment's value, assuming that Athena used the purchase amount, is $400. So, it seems to me that the letter is being detained as part of a random examination. Perhaps it was a mistake sending it by express mail.

    Also, the phone number on the letter seems to be endlessly busy, so there must be many folks in the same boat.
     
    KeviniswhoIam likes this.
  21. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    You may remember there is an Emergency Restriction on importing coins from Yemen.

    https://www.federalregister.gov/doc...ological-and-ethnological-material-from-yemen

    The restriction includes "v. Qatabians produced imitations of Athenian coins also in 2nd-4th century B.C., with or without monograms; distinctive style. From the 2nd century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D., head of Athena is replaced with male ruler portraits, including those of Yad'ab Dhubyan Yuhargib, Dhub, Hawfi`Amm Yuhan`am III, Shahr Yagul, Waraw'il Ghaylan, Shahr Hilal, Yad`ab Yanaf, and various unknown rulers. Reverses of early types have the owl, while later types have a second portrait on the reverse. Approximate date: 400 B.C.-A.D. 200."

    Customs will use M. Huth's book Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms: Ancient Arabian Coins from the Collection of Martin Huth, New York, 2010, pp. 68-152.

    See https://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2020/02/us-state-department-approves-mou-with.html

    I don't know if evidence of the coins being outside Yemen before February 2020 is enough to import.

    Are you a member of the Ancient Coin Collector's Guild? I would contact them, they are always on top of this. https://accguild.org/
     
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