On August 15, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a final rule [CBP Dec. 16–10] that amends the CBP regulations to reflect the imposition of import restrictions on archaeological and ethnological material of Syria pursuant to the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act (Pub. L. 114–151) (the Act).
UN Security Council Resolution 2199 (2015) condemns the destruction of cultural heritage in Syria, particularly by the terrorist organizations Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusrah Front (ANF), and obligates all member nations to assist in the protection of Syria’s cultural heritage. Paragraph 17 of the Resolution states that all Member States shall take appropriate steps to prevent the trade in Syrian cultural property and other items of archaeological, historical, cultural, rare scientific, and religious importance illegally removed from Syria since March 15, 2011. The Act directs the President to exercise the authority under section 304 of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (Pub. L. 97–446, 19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) (CCPIA) to impose import restrictions set forth in section 307 of the CCPIA (19 U.S.C. 2606) with respect to any archaeological or ethnological material of Syria, without regard to whether Syria is a State Party to the 1970 UNESCO Convention, and without the need for a formal request from the Government of Syria. On August 2, 2016, the Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State, acting pursuant to delegated authority under the Act, made a Decision that, pursuant to the CCPIA, import restrictions be imposed with respect to any archaeological and ethnological material of Syria, as defined in the Act. Importation of designated archaeological and ethnological material of Syria is restricted unless the conditions set forth in 19 U.S.C. 2606 and 19 C.F.R. 12.104c are met.
The Federal Register document also contains the Designated List of Archaeological and Ethnological Material of Syria that describes the types of objects or categories of archaeological or ethnological material that are subject to import restrictions, if unlawfully removed from Syria on or after March 15, 2011. The final rule was effective on publication.