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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Ancient Coin Forum (Moderator: goldenancients)  |  Topic: Laws or regulations buying coins - Greece/Italy 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Laws or regulations buying coins - Greece/Italy  (Read 6520 times)
superflex
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« on: April 29, 2013, 07:45:12 am »

Hello everyone,


I am looking forward to traveling to Europe latter this year, particularly Italy and Greece, and will be spending 99% of my time on a beach relaxing to the sounds of the beautiful Mediterranean.


The other 1% may involve visiting a couple of coin dealers, my cousins are keen coin collectors in Greece and they have informed me that there are a couple 'good' coin dealers from Greece they know of.


I was wondering if anyone knows if it may be illegal for these 'dealers' to actually be selling coins in their countries, i would of thought the laws would be quite tight. 


I can't find much on the net either and i am very skeptical to accept the advice of relatives who can't grasp the concept of a legal system to begin with.


Anyone have any experiences that might prove insightful for me here?    Huh


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Andrew McCabe
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 08:50:38 am »

I am looking forward to traveling to Europe latter this year, particularly Italy and Greece, and will be spending 99% of my time on a beach relaxing to the sounds of the beautiful Mediterranean.

The other 1% may involve visiting a couple of coin dealers, my cousins are keen coin collectors in Greece and they have informed me that there are a couple 'good' coin dealers from Greece they know of.

I was wondering if anyone knows if it may be illegal for these 'dealers' to actually be selling coins in their countries, i would of thought the laws would be quite tight.  

I can't find much on the net either and i am very skeptical to accept the advice of relatives who can't grasp the concept of a legal system to begin with.

Anyone have any experiences that might prove insightful for me here?    Huh

The problem isn't with buying coins - you can, theoretically, buy and own coins as a private individual living in Italy (not sure about Greece). So you've been advised correctly by your relatives on that score. There do exist coin dealers.

However you will NOT be permitted to export the coins, and customs WILL check for stuff that looks like old coins if you try, and the Italian post WILL screen for such items in relation to what you say on the customs declaration, and even if you, through some shady means, evade all this, it will be illegal to import Greek coins to the USA, or coins of demonstrably Italian origin to the USA (ref. the endlessly discussed and well publicised MOUs entered into by the US government). That is, without export permits, which I very much doubt you will get (knowing something of the process).

Enjoy the beach and avoid the coin dealers. Or stay and live permanently in Italy and then you can keep your coins there.
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areich
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 08:53:10 am »

It's now illegal to import Greek coins into the US?
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Andrew McCabe
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 08:58:17 am »

It's now illegal to import Greek coins into the US?

There's an MOU with Greece too. It excludes trade coins e.g. Corinthian Pegasi and Athenian owls.
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Molinari
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 09:30:34 am »

I think if shipping from somewhere other than Italy and Greece you just have to sign something that says the coins were out of either country before January 2011 or never came from one of those countries in the first place.  That's what dealers have done with coins I've bought, if they do anything at all.
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superflex
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 09:40:34 am »

Getting the coins out of Greece would not be a problem.  That's the sad thing about their ability to uphold any laws if they exist. Plus I don't have to worry about US laws, they don't apply to me.

But it isn't my intention by any means to sneak an owl out. I thought some dealers may have a gallery of Greek coins acquired from foreign collections, and perhaps these could be brought. I think I am way to concerned of dodgy dealers selling me stolen or backyard finds.

Talking about backyard finds i know quite a few people who found several coins, pottery and other artifacts on land holdings In Greece. From what I heard they all took these finds to local Museums anonymously as they were fearful the government would simple take their land off them. Of course I have heard of bad Scenarios where people would actually destroy any finds on their property because of this fear. Usually city areas have these sort of issues.

I think I will enjoy the sunshine and perhaps trade a few with my cousins. I will let them make the trip back with the coins when they come to visit me Tongue
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otlichnik
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 08:45:31 am »

You may well also be offered fakes at or near some of the tourist sites.  Of course they won't likely say they are fakes.

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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 12:02:30 am »

I am looking forward to traveling to Europe latter this year, particularly Italy and Greece, and will be spending 99% of my time on a beach relaxing to the sounds of the beautiful Mediterranean.

The other 1% may involve visiting a couple of coin dealers, my cousins are keen coin collectors in Greece and they have informed me that there are a couple 'good' coin dealers from Greece they know of.

I was wondering if anyone knows if it may be illegal for these 'dealers' to actually be selling coins in their countries, i would of thought the laws would be quite tight.  

I can't find much on the net either and i am very skeptical to accept the advice of relatives who can't grasp the concept of a legal system to begin with.

Anyone have any experiences that might prove insightful for me here?    Huh

The problem isn't with buying coins - you can, theoretically, buy and own coins as a private individual living in Italy (not sure about Greece). So you've been advised correctly by your relatives on that score. There do exist coin dealers.

However you will NOT be permitted to export the coins, and customs WILL check for stuff that looks like old coins if you try, and the Italian post WILL screen for such items in relation to what you say on the customs declaration, and even if you, through some shady means, evade all this, it will be illegal to import Greek coins to the USA, or coins of demonstrably Italian origin to the USA (ref. the endlessly discussed and well publicised MOUs entered into by the US government). That is, without export permits, which I very much doubt you will get (knowing something of the process).

Enjoy the beach and avoid the coin dealers. Or stay and live permanently in Italy and then you can keep your coins there.

Hi folks,

Yes, Andrew is right. As someone who primarily collects (and imports) Italian coins, I can tell you that it is illegal to export ANY ancient coin from Italy without export permission from the Italian government. And it is illegal to import Magna Graecia coins into the USA, with some exceptions. You must prove that the coin was outside of Italy before January 2011. Or you must have permission from Italy's cultural ministry to import/own that coin. You can get that permission through a reputable Italian coin dealer.

Whatever you do, do NOT try to illegally smuggle the coins out of the country. And don't have your relatives do it either. The proper thing to do in this case is to bring the coins to a reputable Italian coin dealer. Have him get export permission for you. And then he will legally ship the coins to you in a few months, with proper documentation.

Meepzorp
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 12:05:24 am »

It's now illegal to import Greek coins into the US?

Hello ariech,

Yes, the MOUs in the USA now apply to Italian, Greek, and Cyprus coins. You need proper documentation to import those coins.

Meepzorp
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 04:00:51 am »

Interesting that Italian ebay has loads of greek and roman coins for sale with world-wide shipment possible!
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Peter, London

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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 04:08:14 am »

Interesting that Italian ebay has loads of greek and roman coins for sale with world-wide shipment possible!

Don't worry, many of them are perfectly legal from the perspective of the Italian authorities because they are fakes, for example from the Notorious Fake Seller aitnacoins.
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 05:29:59 am »

Quote from: Meepzorp on May 01, 2013, 12:05:24 am
It's now illegal to import Greek coins into the US?

Hello ariech,

Yes, the MOUs in the USA now apply to Italian, Greek, and Cyprus coins. You need proper documentation to import those coins.

Meepzorp

China too, I think.
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superflex
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 11:41:55 am »

Interesting case:


Coins are generally acknowledged by archaeologists to be the most commonly encountered artifact of civilized man, but this apparently hasn’t stopped the U.S. State Department from making it difficult to import them from abroad.

An organization representing coin collectors took action against the State Department through the courts, but just as this article was being written news was received that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against that organization.

The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild had been involved in a test case before the U.S. District Court in Baltimore that challenged the State Department’s interpretation of the law. A trial court dismissed the case, however the ACCG appealed the decision to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling. In that time, which is approximately four years, the question evolved into a Petition for Writ of Certiorari that was presented to the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition questioned the inherit absolute discretion of the Executive Branch when Congress gives the Executive Branch oversight authority.

.....


http://www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=26791
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