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United States Takes Unilateral Action to Protect the Cultural Heritage of the People of Afghanistan

As part of its interagency coordination responsibilities for the preservation of cultural heritage, the U.S. Department of State announces the imposition of unilateral restrictions on the importation of certain categories of Afghan archaeological and ethnological material into the United States.

Pursuant to the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, the Department of State determined that circumstances in Afghanistan warrant unilateral emergency import restrictions. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of the Treasury published the import restrictions in the February 22, 2022, Federal Register, and the import restrictions are effective immediately.

These import restrictions are intended to prevent illicitly trafficked materials from entering the U.S. art market, thus reducing the incentive for pillage of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage and combatting profit from the sale of these cultural objects by terrorists and criminal organizations.

Additional information, including the Designated List describing the types of objects or categories of material subject to import restrictions, can be found in the Federal Register . For further information, please visit culturalheritage.state.gov or contact ECA-Press@state.gov.


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